World Cup fever starts in Cape Town

Improved ball: The official ball, named Jabulani (which means to celebrate in Zulu) for the 2010 World Cup. It was launched in Cape Town and worldwide on Friday

Copies of Adidas footballs used at the World Cups from 1970 are on show in Cape Town

Thousands of fans partied on the streets of Cape Town to celebrate the World Cup draw despite hosts South Africa being thrown into one of the tournament’s tricky groups.
South Africa, given a seeded rating as hosts despite lacklustre recent performances, were drawn to face Mexico in the opening match on June 11 next year and must also play two former World Cup winners, Uruguay and France, in Group A.

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Many South Africans resigned themselves to an early exit but that did not seem to dampen the atmosphere at Cape Town’s main party venue, the city’s trendy Long Street.

Local and foreign fans, many with flags of their favourite teams painted on their faces, thronged the bars and restaurants.

“South Africans are positive. We believe,” said Vuyani Kwinana, who carried a large national flag.

“Africa is going to conquer and take this World Cup. We will beat Mexico in the first match,” Kwinana added.

Fans, some of whom had been partying since early afternoon, sat exhausted along the pavements as the blare of vuvuzelas — plastic trumpets blown incessantly at South African matches — pierced the night air.
Final countdown

A huge television screen was set up to show the draw, presented by South African Oscar winner Charlize Theron, to the excited crowds.

The ceremony ended the suspense over who the 32 qualifying teams would play and where and was watched on television by an estimated 250 million people in 200 countries.

It began the final countdown to next year’s World Cup, the first to be held in Africa.

“This is the first time I’ve been to South Africa and I’m finding it very cool,” said Thomas Beltlwieser, a 31-year-old from Munich.

“We are already having a great time and meeting people from around the world. The locals are friendly and we feel safe but we have to be safety conscious.”

South Africa is one of the world’s most dangerous places outside a war zone and the government has taken extraordinary measures to ensure visitors are safe during the draw and next year’s month-long event starting on June 11.

“This draw and the World Cup means a lot for Africa, the world’s poorest continent,” said Zimbabwean artist Godfrey Dambuleni who was walking around with his own World Cup trophy made of tin and held together with wire.

England fans to sleep in ship crates during World Cup

London, Dec.11: England football fans will be put up in ship crates during the World Cup as a cheap alternative to hotels, the Daily Star reports.

The 50-pound-a-night windowless steel units can sleep around 12 people.

They look certain to be highly popular as the cost of accommodation in South Africa soars.

Supporters cheering on the Three Lions for their group games face a bill of at least 2,500 pounds.

Tickets are changing hands for up to 1,150 pounds as touts cash in. And hotels are tripling the price of rooms as thousands of fans from 32 nations book for the 2010 tournament.

The containers, which are fitted with en suite bathrooms, will be a massive help for hard-up England followers.

The 120 steel rooms have been set up on the driving range at the popular Houghton Golf Club in a northern suburb of Johannesburg.

Each container is furnished with TV and power. Water and sewerage services will be drawn off the existing supplies at the clubhouse. Guests will have easy access to restaurants, bars and shops and will be allowed to use the clubhouse for dining and recreation.

England's first game is against USA in Rustenburg, a city not far from Johannesburg where the final will be held on July 11.

Steve Jaspan, a town planner in Johannesburg, said: "This concept, although new to South Africa, is popular around the world. The containers are stored in ports across the world and used for major events."

Police Officers to Dress As Prostitutes During 2010 World Cup

Female police officers are to pose as prostitutes in South Africa in a bid to snare kerb crawlers ahead of next year’s World Cup, security chiefs said.

A squad of undercover cops will dress provocatively and walk the streets ahead of next year’s World Cup
A squad of undercover cops will dress provocatively and walk the streets during a crackdown designed to catch sex workers’ clients in the act.
The planned stings are part of an operation to seize control of the HIV-ridden industry before around 450,000 foreign fans descend on the Fifa host nation next summer.

Rudolf Wiltshire, a Cape Town city official who has fined 112 prostitutes for soliciting during the past last month, said 10 officers handpicked for the task would begin their new job next week.
He said: “These women were specifically selected for this function. They have all the attributes that are conducive to this kind of job.
“It requires high ethical norms and values, and a good understanding of the social issues of sex workers.
“Our team are receiving dedicated training aimed at enhancing sensitivity in the environments of health and substance abuse.
“They will also be equipped with information about safe housing, remedial intervention and how to connect sex workers with the organisations that drive social intervention”.
The move has angered campaign group the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (Sweat).
Sweat spokeswoman Vivienne Lalu said the industry would be driven further underground and deprive women of their human rights.
But as South Africa prepares for an influx of tourists – with around 25,000 expected from Britain – MPs and charities have repeatedly called for the country’s thousands of prostitutes to be brought under control. (Daily Telegraph)

PROSTITUTES in South Africa are preparing to cash in on England fans during the 2010 footie World Cup.
But HALF the nation’s hookers are infected with HIV or AIDS.
A shock investigation by The Sun has revealed girls from poverty-stricken townships are desperate for ENGLAND to qualify and bring their army of fans.


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