It’s now a matter of hours until 3pm when the host nation takes on Mexico in the first match of the World Cup 2010.
South Africa has had its fair share of doubters after Fifa awarded it the tournament, but has proved them wrong. 10 host stadiums have been completed and infrastructure projects are up and running, including Africa’s first high-speed rail link.
Nelson Mandela has thrown himself behind the World Cup, saying:
“The 2010 World Cup is more than just a simple game. It symbolises the power of football to bring people together regardless of their language, colour of their skin, their politics or religion.”
However, Mandela will no longer be attending the opening ceremony at Soccer City in Johannesburg this afternoon after the tragic death of his great granddaughter.
Celebrations kicked off last night with a star-studded concert at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto. More than 30,000 people packed in to watch Shakira sing the World Cup song Waka Waka. The Black Eyed Peas and Alicia Keys also performed.
Shakira perfrorms Waka Waka at the World Cup concert last night
Outside the stadium the partying’s already started
Aussie couple who are celebrating their honeymoon at the World Cup
Nelson Mandela’s great granddaughter killed in car accident
World Cup 2010
World Cup – South Africa news
World Cup: Fixtures and results
World Cup screenings in London
Shakira’s World Cup anthem
Tags: World Cup kick-off, World Cup 2010, Nelson Mandela, World Cup party, World Cup celebrations, World Cup South Africa