Soccer World Cup 2010


Soccer World Cup 2010 : Bidding

FIFA, the world football governing body, promised to award the 2010 World Cup to Africa after South Africa controversially lost the 2006 bid to Germany (Charles Dempsey was instructed by the Oceania Football Federation to vote for South Africa, but instead abstained).

Five African countries submitted full bids to be host-nation for the Soccer World Cup 2010:




South Africa


Nigeria had also shown initial interest but decided against following it up at the end of September 2003.

Click here to read the Fifa Inspection report

After FIFA rejected its proposal to co-host the event with Libya, Tunisia withdrew from the bidding race on the 8th May 2004. During the morning of the vote on the 15th May 2004, the Libyan bid to host the World Cup was excluded as the national committee had confirmed it would not allow an Israeli team to participate in the Cup on its soil.

It was twenty-one minutes past noon (on the 15th May 2004) both in Switzerland and South Africa when the envelope was opened, its contents withdrawn and FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter's long-awaited words, barely audible above the noise, spoken. At 12:21 on 15 May 2004, history had been made; it was the time of Africa and South Africa to stage the FIFA World Cup.

With 14 votes, South Africa was declared as winner after just one round of voting. In the secret vote, Morocco received 10 votes, while Egypt did not get any votes at all.

Sitting next to Mr Blatter, Nelson Mandela, who had spent 27 of his 85 years in prison under the apartheid regime, could not hold back his tears and they fell freely down his cheeks. Mandela, who had made the trip to Zurich despite not being in the best of health, hoisted the World Cup trophy. "I feel like a young man of 15," he said to laughter. But, typically, Mandela's first thought was for others - the people of Morocco, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia: "You must not be discouraged. It is no reflection of your efforts. Next time when you compete, you may be luckier." A message to the people back home? "South Africans should treat this decision with humility and without arrogance because we are, after all, equal," he responded with a booming voice that sent a shiver down the spine, prompting one Egyptian journalist to stand up and say "We love you Nelson Mandela". 

South Africa will be the 16th country and the first African country to host the World Cup.

Click here to read an excerpt from Andrew Jennings' book Foul, in which he explains how Fifa and its vice-president Jack Warner strong-armed Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu to travel the world in search of votes for South Africa's 2010 Soccer World Cup bid.

USA backup?

Reports have it that the U.S. Soccer federation has spoken to FIFA officials about being a backup plan for either the 2010 Soccer World Cup finals.


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