It is Friday, June 11, 2010 and finally the day is here for the 2010 FIFA World Cup to kick-off. In a few hours time hosts South Africa take on Mexico in the opening match at the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg. And then the wait and talking time is over. It is now over to the action on the pitch for the next one month and on July 11 evening we will know who are the new world champions.
An interesting month awaits us. The tournament is wide open with the usual suspects there as favourites. Spain is the top favourite ahead of Brazil and Argentina with countries like Germany, England, Netherlands and Italy also often getting a mention. But who knows who will be the surprise team in this edition of the FIFA World Cup.
Millions of people around the world will be watching and/or reading about the tournament. An interesting story here is that there will be no coverage in North Korea. The communist country didn't want to buy the rights of FIFA or couldn't afford it, while it also didn't accept an offer from South Korea to receive the feed for free. Maybe there is a fear that South Korea could misuse the feed to send secret messages to its citizens and try to cause an uprising. Sadly the North Koreans are being denied the chance to watch their team play in the football World Cup after 44 long years. But it isn't the only thing they have to live without.
The big concert last night has set the tone for a month of football carnival. And I hope no major disaster happens then I fear security will remain a big issue. I have already read too many reports about people being robbed or mugged across South Africa. And getting this problem under control will be a tough ask, but one can only hope no one is seriously injured or god forbid even killed.
For me personally the next month means watching a lot of football, reading even more and reporting about it on different media - television, radio and print plus writing here on my blog.
The time for talking and discussions are over. As they would have said in the antic Rome, let the games begin...