The nineteenth edition of the FIFA World Cup has officially started. This time, the cup is being played in South Africa and it will take place for a full month, ending in July 11th. The qualification process began in August 2007, and it involved a total of 204 countries. The final match of the event is amongst the most viewed events in the history of the sport, and with all the money invested in this edition of the tournament, this time it will not be the exception.
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The cup features four groups:
Group A: Featuring South Africa, Mexico, Uruguay and France.
Group B: Featuring Argentina, Nigeria, Korea Republic and Greece.
Group C: Featuring England, United States, Algeria and Slovenia.
Group D: Featuring Germany, Australia, Serbia and Ghana.
Group E: featuring the Netherlands, Denmark, Japan and Cameroon.
Group F: Italy, Paraguay, New Zealand and Slovakia.
Group G: Brazil, Korea DPR, Cote d’Ivoire and Portugal.
Group H: Spain, Switzerland, Honduras and Chile.
10 stadiums will be hosting the games:
Soccer City: Located in Johannesburg and built specially for the cup, it is a venue with a capacity of 94,700.
Moses Mabhida Stadium: Located in Durban, it has a capacity for 70,000.
Cape Town Stadium: Situated in Cape Town, this one has a capacity for 69,070 fans.
Ellis Park Stadium: This one is also located in South Africa’s capital town of Johannesburg and it has a capacity of 62,567.
Loftus Versfeld Stadium: This one is located in Pretoria and its capacity is of 51,760.
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium: Located in Port Elizabeth, it has a capacity of 48,459.
Free State Stadium: The venue is located in Bloemfontein and has a capacity of 48,000.
Peter Mokaba Stadium: Situated in Polokwane, it has a capacity for 46,000 people.
Royal Bafokeng Stadium: Based in Rustenburg, it has a capacity for 44,530.
Mbombela Stadium: Located in Nelspruit, it has a capacity for 43,589.
The official mascot of the tournament is known as Zakumi, who is a leopard with green hair and yellow skin (a depiction of the flag colors of the hosting team) that was presented to the public back in September of 2008. His name is a combination of the words “ZA”, the abbreviation for South Africa, and “Kumi”, which means “ten” in different languages from Africa.
The ball that is going to be used is known as Jabulani (a word that means “bringing joy to everyone), which is a creation of sporting goods manufacturer Adidas. The number eleven plays a big part in the ball, as this is actually the eleventh created by the German company, it also features 11 colors and it also symbolizes the 11 official languages from South Africa.
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