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June 11, 2010

Football fans flood Soweto as the moment we’ve all been waiting for arrives!

parkandride queue

Football fans queue to use the park-and-ride facilities at Wits University

It’s been a six-year wait since South Africa was announced as the host of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ but finally the country’s time to shine has come – and football pilgrims are already making their way to Soccer City in Soweto, ahead of this afternoon’s opening ceremony. 

Road closures are in place, as are aviation restrictions and a host of police officers, with just hours to go before we can finally say “Ke nako, it’s time!”

Some 94 000 people will jostle their way into the stadium to watch the opening ceremony and first match, between Bafana Bafana and Mexico. Never before has Soweto (or the country) had to deal with such an influx of football fans from around the world.

Getting everyone safely to their seats at Soccer City is the top priority of the thousands of officers, officials and volunteers on duty today. Whether it’s by bus, car, taxi or train – people are flooding into the township in a sea of green and gold, as excitement around the ceremony and the curtain raiser match reaches fever pitch.

Many are making use of the park-and-ride and park-and-walk facilities at various points in Johannesburg and Soweto.

This video shows just how long the queues at the Wits University park-and-ride hub already are:

A Mexican fan shares his opening match prediction en route to Soccer City in the next video.

Videos and photo courtesy Tara Turkington.

See also:

South Africa draw against Mexico in World Cup opener

Bafana Bafana about to face Mexico in World Cup curtain raiser

The opening ceremony of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ – A Cape Town Tourism photo essay

The 2010 FIFA World Cup™ gets under way!

Soccer City: where vuvuzelas blow the loudest

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