The Closing Ceremony of the 2010 FIFA World Cup is set to be a colourful, celebratory tribute to the tournament, the fans and their experiences in the host country during what’s been a memorable month.
The 30-minute night-time ceremony will take place at 18h30 on Sunday, 11 July 2010, at Johannesburg’s Soccer City Stadium - ahead of the showpiece 2010 FIFA World Cup final - and will feature some spectacular performances and unique special effects.
It will be broadcast live in 215 countries to an audience in excess of 500-million viewers and will feature 780 cast members and some of South Africa and Africa’s top musicians and dancers.
Columbian pop star Shakira will feature at her second successive FIFA World Cup closing ceremony, performing the hit song “Waka Waka” with South Africa’s Freshlyground. The catchy song has topped the global music charts in 15 countries and was the most watched video on the internet in the month of June, with over 70 million hits on You Tube to date.
The other artists at the ceremony include multiple Grammy Award winners Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Jozi, Stoan Seate, Slikour, Zuluboy, Abigail Kubeka, Theo Kgosinkwe, Afrikaans artists Nianell and flutist Wouter, Nigeria’s 2Face, Ghana’s Samini and popular local traditional group Ihashi Elimhlophe.
Derek Carstens, the OC’s Chief Marketing Officer said the Ceremony will have a distinctive African feel, with world-class technology and a contemporary, youthful theme.
“Africa’s first FIFA World Cup has showcased the unique and colourful spirit and warmth of the African continent and its people. The closing ceremony will pay tribute to that spirit with a world-class production. It will also be a tribute to the football that’s been played in the tournament, to the fans and their experiences. It will also be a reminder of what South Africa has offered the world over the last month and encourage fans to come back to our country in great numbers after the tournament,” said Carstens.
“While the opening ceremony was more traditional in its approach in order to do justice to Africa’s heritage, the closing ceremony will have more contemporary and youthful themes. It takes place at night, which will allow for more dramatic lighting and special effects. We urge those at the stadiums and those tuning in to take their seats early and not to miss what’s sure to be a spectacular show,” Carstens added.
The Soccer City stadium gates open on Sunday at 14h30, six hours before kickoff of the 2010 FIFA World Cup final at 20h30. The closing ceremony starts at 18h30 and spectators are urged to be seated by 18h00 in order to be part of the historic closing ceremony of Africa’s first FIFA World Cup.
The commercial display areas at Soccer City will be fully operational from 2pm on final day and will offer a variety of fun-filled activities for early fans, with a number of transport options available from the City of Johannesburg.
FIFA Fan Fest line up
FIFA meanwhile announced that the number of people who have flocked to the 10 FIFA Fan Fests since the tournament kicked off, past the 2 million mark on Saturday (3 July) with the best attendance on a “non Bafana match day” to date of 176,039 spectators. Durban once again had the highest attendance figure with 80,087 followed by Cape Town with 41,917 and Soweto with 20,732.
Internationally 371 400 people flocked to FIFA Fan Fests bringing the total for July 3 to 547 439.
2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa Chief Executive Officer, Dr Danny Jordaan encouraged South Africans to continue visiting the FIFA Fan Fests as the tournament reaches its crescendo.
“If you have not done so already now is your opportunity to visit the Fan Fests and experience the unique atmosphere which they have. Go out and meet new friends and be a part of the worldwide World Cup celebration.”
Jordaan said that come the final of the World Cup on 11 July there would be more than 80 000 people at Soccer City witnessing history but hundreds of thousands in the FIFA Fan Fests and public viewing areas making history.
“This will be biggest party this country will ever have seen and the 3rd and 4th place playoff on July 10th will provide us with the perfect warm up event for this party. We have seen the images of 300 000 people gathered in one place in Germany this week and we are confident that hundreds of thousands of South Africans will visit South African FIFA Fan Fests to celebrate the FIFA World Cup.”
On Saturday 306 500 people rocked the FIFA Fan Fest in Germany taking attendance here past the 1 million mark and taking the total for the tournament worldwide to 4,684,948.
In South Africa organisers at the various FIFA Fan Fests have lined up a variety of entertainment to keep fans happy before and after matches. Performers such as Prime Circle K’Naan, Flash Republic, Loyiso, Thandiswa Mazwai and Liquid Deep will join a host of others at the various parties which have been planned.