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2010 World Cup Coming To South Africa!!! 14/05/04
The long hard wait is over - the host country for the 2010 World Cup was announced in Zurich, Switzerland, this afternoon and South Africa emerged victorious!!!

It's been a long hard road to victory, especially after South Africa's heart-breaking loss to Germany in the bid for the 2006 World Cup, but bid CEO Danny Jordaan and his team have done it, the first ever World Cup to be held in Africa is coming to South Africa!

The final announcement was delayed for nearly 15 minutes as some of the dignitaries arrived late, causing the large South African contingent, which included Nelson Mandela, FW de Klerk, Jordaan, Irvin Khoza, Abedi Pele and Molefi Olifant team to endure some tense moments.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter's speech seemed to go on for ever, but when the name inside the envelope was finally revealed, the crowd, and indeed the millions of South African's watching at venues all over the country, erupted in  joy.

The South African bid team looked particulary nervous as they waited for the announcement as Morocco, who had support from the likes of Real Madrid stars Zinedine Zidane and Luis Figo, had emerged as strong contenders in the run in to the final voting.

However, the tears that followed the failure to secure the 2006 World Cup were not to be repeated as the South African's emerged as winners, by 14 votes to 10.

Executive Bid Committee member Khoza lead South Africa's acceptance speech after the announcement was made.

He congratulated South Africa's fellow bidders - Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia and Libya for their efforts, as well as all the South Africans who made the country proud.

"Thanks must go to Nelson Mandela, FW de Klerk and Desmond Tutu - the presence played an important part in persuading the FIFA executive members to vote for us."

"This is for Africa and for African renewal," he said. "For the 44 million South Africans, this is for you."

Former president Mandela seemed looked highly emotinal as the announcement was made, but gathered himself in time to go on stage and lift the trophy before addressing the world.

"I feel like a young man of 50," he said.

"I thank everyone who has supported us and I would like to say to those who were not as lucky that they must not be disillusioned.

"The fact that you have not succeeded today is no reflection on those who did not succeed today. Another time when you compete you will be luckier than we are.

"My message is that South Africa should accept the result of this vote with humility because we are all equal,"

In his address to the nation from Pretoria, president Thabo Mebeki said that the planning for the 2010 showcase will begin on Monday and that everything will be done to ensure that it is a successful World Cup.

"The country looks forward to hosting the best footballers in the world in 2010," he said, before confidently adding that, "An African team will win the 2010 World Cup."

"Lets all go out an celebrate. VIVA, 2010, VIVA!"

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