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Football World Cup begins officially

Posted By: Staff

Johannesburg, Jun 11 (ANI): The first World Cup on African soil began on June 11, with South Africa facing Mexico in the opening match.

A colourfully dressed group of African dancers paraded onto the field to start the opening ceremony of the month-long tournament before a jubilant crowd at the Soccer City.

Hundreds of dancers filled Soccer City with the sights and sounds of Africa for the World Cup opening ceremony on Friday, according to a foreign news agency.

Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu danced in the stands to support the South African side in their match against Mexico.

South Africa's first Black president Nelson Mandela had been expected to attend, but he cancelled at the last minute following the tragic death of his 13-year-old great granddaughter in a car accident.

Mandela delivered a videotape message, welcoming the World Cup to South Africa.

A traditional African praise singer in animal skins opened the 40-minute show, as dancers lined up along the compass points indicating the eight other host cities around South Africa. (ANI)

Story first published: Friday, June 11, 2010, 20:46 [IST]
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