The CEO of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organizing Committee South Africa, Dr. Danny Jordaan, said the Final Draw held in Cape Town tonight delivered on the promise of a world-class event.
“We promised the country a spectacular and world-class event, and we delivered on that promise. It was a great celebration of Africa, which triggered a wave of passion and support on the streets of Cape Town, across South Africa, and around the world,” said Jordaan.
He was speaking after a night that sparkled with all the glamour of Hollywood, but came alive with the rhythm and soul of Africa as the eight groups for the 2010 FIFA World Cup were decided.
“What we have to do now is to keep that passion and support for the World Cup alive, not just in terms of what happens on the field but also in terms of selling tickets.”
The next phase of ticket sales opens worldwide tomorrow on FIFA.com . To date 674,403 tickets have been sold for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, with 361,582 of those going to South Africans.
Jordaan noted that the African hopefuls would face strong competition in the group stages of the FIFA World Cup, which features one of the strongest line-ups in the tournament’s history.
“Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana are both in strong groups. We hope that they will be able to challenge in those groups, but all the African teams have steep mountains to climb. But it is a World Cup, and that is what you have to expect.”
Commenting on the opening match of the tournament between South Africa and Mexico at Soccer City on June 11, 2010, Jordaan said: “The Mexican fans are passionate about their team and play attacking and attractive football, so we will have to be at our best when we play them. If we perform well against them and make it past the first round, I think all of us will be very happy.”
The energetic, ninety-minute show was kicked off by a track, “scatterlings of Africa,” from one of South Africa’s greatest music exports, Johnny Clegg, and also featured performances by the west African singer-songwriter Angelique Kidjo and the Grammy-award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir’s rendition of the popular South African song Pata Pata.