World Cup 2010: Stadiums Coming
Together As Questions Remain Exactly one year from today, the eyes of the soccer world will be on Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, as the host nation kicks off the 2010 World Cup. The momentous day will culminate a process for the Rainbow Nation that, according to Local Organizing Committee CEO Danny Jordaan, began in 1994 when the U.S. showed that a nontraditional soccer power could host the World Cup. As South Africa started to plan for a bid, it began to demonstrate its capability to host major sporting events by successfully staging the 1995 Rugby World Cup, then the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations. A bid in 2000 for the 2006 World Cup followed. Although South Africa ultimately lost out to Germany, the decisive margin was just one vote. The confidence derived from that near miss led to the submission of a 2010 bid in December 2002. On May 16, 2004, FIFA announced that the biggest soccer competition in the world would be Africa-bound for the first time. For South Africa, as significant as representing its continent may be in soccer terms, hosting the World Cup has a greater symbolic meaning. Exactly four months before June 11, 2010, will be the 20th anniversary of the moment many identify as the birth of the new South Africa, a nation that has moved from an age of isolation brought about by its government's policy of apartheid into a new, optimistic era that embraces all of its people equally, no matter their creed or color.