JOHANNESBURG — The flags of the 32 nations that qualified for the 2010 World Cup are flying in Johannesburg. A flag-raising ceremony livened by dancers, a choir and giant soccer player puppets was held Thursday at the offices shared by World Cup organizers and South African soccer authorities next door to Soccer City, the venue that will host the opening and closing matches. South African school children and ambassadors from the qualifying nations did the honors.

Uruguay ambassador Guillermo Pomi made it to the ceremony even though he had been awake into the early morning hours watching his team claim the final spot with a 1-1 draw against Costa Rica. Uruguay was the first host and first World Cup winner, and Pomi says, “We expect to go far” in South Africa.

PUBLICATION: Associated Press
DATED: 19th November 2009