More than 700-million soccer fans around the globe are expected to share in the excitement of the 2010 Fifa World Cup final draw in Cape Town later in 2009, Fifa has revealed.
The draw – at which the final 32 teams participating in the event and the groups in which they will play will be announced – is expected to be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on December 4.
Fifa has described the final draw as the biggest ahead of any World Cup, predicting that hundreds of millions of people across the world would be “glued to their TV sets” to watch.
Fifa spokesperson Delia Fischer told the Cape Argus that the audience expected to watch the final draw was equivalent to the number who would watch a World Cup final.
Dr Laurine Platzky, co-ordinator of the 2010 provincial task team, said the final draw was a “perfect opportunity”, just six months before the World Cup kick-off, to market Cape Town and everything the city had to offer the world.
She said Cape Town was the “destination marketing hook” for the province and the entire country.
“The main thrust is the base camps,” said Platzky.
“We have targeted 10 of the 32 teams to be based in the Western Cape.
“Currently we are in discussions with the top teams which are likely to qualify for 2010, and are working one-on-one with a number of them directly, and also through their government representatives in South Africa.”
Platzky said they had already taken a few foreign representatives on tours of the province, showing them the facilities, answering their questions and assisting in making practical arrangements.
Secondly, she said, the provincial government was working closely with the city, Cape Town Partnership and the Cape Film Commission on the Cape Media Services initiative, to welcome and showcase the city and province to the media and to give the visiting media practical assistance in production.
“Thirdly, we are keen to co-host the Festival of Hope at the time to bring the communities into the excitement of the World Cup,” she said.
A reception after the final draw will also be held in the city to enable guests to see and experience Cape Town.
Director Peter Jacobs, head of the provincial police’s 2010 team, said the police would use activities around the final draw as a “dry-run” for the World Cup.
AUTHOR: Clayton Barnes
DATED: 17th February 2009