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December 01, 2009

Cape Town catches soccer fever!

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The stage for the Final Draw festivities in Long Street, photo courtesy Ernie Joseph

We are picking up this week where we left off last week – with a countdown! With the Final Draw for the 2010 FIFA World Cup only days away, Cape Town has caught soccer fever. The Mother City is clad in soccer gear, with flags, banners and gigantic soccer balls in place to welcome visitors and to inspire Capetonians for the Final Draw of the first FIFA World Cup in Africa.

The excitement was palpable at the switching on of the festive lights in Adderley Street on November 29. The traditional festive lights had a soccer theme this year and were a kaleidoscope of colour to symbolise that Cape Town is ready to welcome the world. Cape Town Tourism hosted a diski dance lesson in the “soccer zone”, where Capetonians again showed their natural rhythm and blew their vuvuzelas. Live it. Love it. LOUDER!? You have never heard loud quite like this before! Remember, though, that loud is not just noise; it’s about bright colours, enthusiasm, showing your support for Bafana Bafana and boldly expressing what makes us uniquely Capetonian – and proudly so.

Our team stood by as Ajax Cape Town settled in for an autograph session, making the moon and stars seem within reach of the children queuing excitedly to meet them. Soccer player Matthew Booth probably only had to stand on tiptoe and he could have reached the universe for them!

We’ll take a look now at the events leading up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final Draw and how visitors and Capetonians can Live it. Love it. LOUDER!

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Learning the diski dance at the switching on of the festive lights in Adderley Street

  • Visit the Fields of Play exhibition at the District Six Museum, which re-opens on December 3, and discover the history of soccer in Cape Town – from the very first game played on the Green Point Common in 1862, the tumultuous times during the apartheid era and the current state of the game.
  • Support a five-a-side soccer match at the Sony Fevapitch Finals taking place at the V&A Waterfront on December 5 from 10h00 until 21h00.
  • The big event, of course, is the Final Draw and Long Street Party on December 4. Now, what is the fuss about? The Final Draw will determine where and against whom the 32 teams that qualified will be playing in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The draw will be broadcast live to an estimated audience of 150-million viewers in 200 countries!

    Capetonians will get their first taste of next year’s FIFA World Cup Fan Fests concept when the entire upper Long Street – from Dorp Street to Buitensingel – is converted into a festival zone for the Final Draw on Friday, December 4. As many as 15 000 revellers are expected to turn out for the event.

    The Fan Fest launch is set to take place at 14h00 on Long Street. A live crossing to the Cape Town International Convention Centre for the Final Draw will take place from 19h00 until 20h30. Guests can look forward to programme highlights that include cultural performers, fusion band Coda, Flat Stanley, TKZee, Freshlyground, Casette and Jimmy Dludlu. Other entertainment will include stilt walkers, Malian puppets and fire dancers!

    Proceedings kick off at 12h00 and are expected to carry on well into midnight, after which the programme should wind down. To view the full programme, visit www.capetown.travel/2010.
  • If you want to make a change while you make a noise, take note of the opening of the Football for Hope Centre in Khayelitsha on December 5. The Football for Hope Festival is a FIFA initiative, set to run during the second half of the month-long 2010 FIFA World Cup, that aims to promote social change through soccer. Football for Hope centres will be opened across Africa to combine sport, health and educational facilities. It’s a worthy cause to highlight as we support World AIDS Day today (December 1).
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