SBD/Issue 204/Events & Attractions

World Cup Closing Ceremony To Have Contemporary, African Feel

Closing Ceremony To Be Departure From
Opening Ceremony's Traditional Approach

The South Africa 2010 World Cup Organizing Committee yesterday said that the tournament's closing ceremony Sunday will "combine a 'distinct African feel' with world class technology and a contemporary, youthful themes," according to the SOUTH AFRICAN PRESS ASSOCIATION. Committee Chief Marketing & Commercial Officer Derek Carstens in a statement said while the June 11 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 theme." Carstens said that it "would be a 'colourful, celebratory tribute' to the tournament, the fans and their experiences during the month-long event." Singer Shakira during the ceremony will "perform her hit song 'Waka Waka' with local act Freshlyground." The festivities are scheduled to start at 6:30pm local time Sunday at Johannesburg's Soccer City stadium ahead of the 8:30pm Netherlands-Spain final (SAPA, 7/7).

PROVING THE DOUBTERS WRONG: In Toronto, Kyle Brown writes under the header, "South Africa Victorious As World Cup Host." South Africans are feeling a "swelling pride" in "successfully hosting the World Cup, in defiance of apocalyptic warnings to the contrary." There has "long lurked a sense that South Africa must prove itself capable of presiding over the biggest sporting event on the planet in a world that has been waiting for it to fail." The racial tensions that did "bubble to the surface" during the World Cup "were marginal, short-lived and gained greater attention than any far-right splinter group or youth leader would normally merit." And while crime in South Africa "is a serious problem, it's fallen sharply since the World Cup began." Brown writes as the tournament "draws to a close, scribes are proffering last-minute mea culpas and recanting previous proclamations of imminent woe" (TORONTO STAR, 7/8).

FINAL NOTES: FIFA said that it will "tighten security" for Sunday's final and Saturday's Germany-Uruguay Third Place Game after an "incursion onto the field by an Italian fan carrying a vuvuzela" during the fourth minute of yesterday's Spain-Germany semifinal. FIFA Dir of Communications & Public Affairs Nicolas Maingot said the governing body "will tighten the controls again" (SAPA, 7/8)....In Miami, Michelle Kaufman notes a parade for the Netherlands team along Amsterdam's canals "has been planned for Tuesday" whether the team wins the final or not, and 1.5 million people "are expected to attend" (MIAMI HERALD, 7/8).

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