Fireworks as World Cup ends - Closing ceremony
Saturday 10, July 2010
The closing ceremony of the World Cup - just hours before the final - is guaranteed to be a fitting end to a fantastic month, with lights, music and football.
Spectacular performances and unique special effects can be expected at the closing ceremony of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, which it is said, will be a celebratory tribute to the tournament and fans.
The 30-minute ceremony will be held at Soccer City Stadium on Sunday, 11 July at 6.30pm sharp, ahead of the World Cup final between the Netherlands and Spain, which kicks off at 8.30pm.
"We are looking at a youthful and technologically advanced closing ceremony and because it is at night time, the event will feature a lot of lighting technology," said the Organising Committee (OC) spokesperson, Jermaine Craig.
It will feature 780 cast members and some of South Africa and Africa's top musicians and dancers, and will be broadcast live in 215 countries across the globe, to an audience of an estimated half a billion viewers.
Colombian pop star Shakira will perform at her second successive FIFA World Cup closing ceremony. On Sunday, she will sing the official 2010 World Cup song, Waka Waka (This Time for Africa), with South African group Freshlyground. Since the song was released on 11 May, it has reportedly reached the one million sales mark, making it the fastest-selling single and the biggest-selling World Cup single in the history of the tournament.
Local Grammy Award winners Ladysmith Black Mambazo will also perform, along with fellow South Africans Jozi, Stoan Seate, Slikour, Zuluboy, Abigail Kubeka, Theo Kgosinkwe, Nianell, Ihashi Elimhlophe and Wouter Kellerman. From Nigeria, 2Face will perform, and from Ghana, Samini will perform.
Derek Carstens, the OC's chief marketing officer, said the ceremony would have a distinctive African feel, with world-class technology and a contemporary, youthful theme. "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."
FIFA has also announced that three million spectators have so far turned up at stadiums across the country since the start of the World Cup. The international football governing body described the figure as the third highest total ever in the history of the flagship event, behind only the 1994 and 2006 tournaments.
On Sunday, the gates at Soccer City on the outskirts of Soweto will open at 2.30pm, six hours before the kickoff. Fans at the stadium early will be kept entertained by a variety of fun-filled activities at the commercial display areas, which will be fully operational from 2pm.
Spectators are urged to be seated for the closing ceremony by 6pm to be part of the historic closing of Africa's first FIFA World Cup.
Carstens made it clear that the closing ceremony would be a tribute to the football that had been played during 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."
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