For the first time in its history, the FIFA World Cup will have a showcase arena for all 32 participating teams, offering a dynamic platform to showcase their national brand identity and to celebrate their respective cultural and commercial assets.
Pictured: England talisman Wayne Rooney
National pavilions accommodating all 32 teams will provide the estimated 450,000 fans visiting the world’s biggest and most widely viewed event with a unique opportunity to explore the rich diversities of the world today and to discover new cultural experiences and insights.
World Football House will become a true “Global Village” for the duration of the 2010 FIFA World Cup providing each country with a ground breaking opportunity for destination branding and cultural and commercial exchange and visitors with a unique World Cup experience.
Founder and president of World Football House, Graham Cooke said: “The World Football House will be the showcase for all the rich diversity of culture, arts and of course sport of all 32 countries taking part in the World Cup.
“It will provide the perfect environment for fans to get a unique insight into the differing cultures of the participating teams.”
World Sport Destination Expo
Also taking place in South Africa during the FIFA World Cup is World Sport Destination Expo, the sports tourism event of the year.
The first global exhibition dedicated to showcasing the $600 billion a year sport tourism industry, the event will allow delegates from around the world conduct future business, source new contacts and markets and gain invaluable insights from the advanced knowledge of industry leaders and figure-heads.
WSDE is fully endorsed by the leading authorities in sport and travel and tourism and is uniquely co-located alongside the final week of the 2010 FIFA World Cup (July 5th - 9th) at the SCC, Johannesburg, South Africa and is an unmissable event for forward thinking travel and tourism entities.
To celebrate these unique events Breaking Travel News here offers our guide to the teams competing at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
Germany coach Joachim Low talks to reporters ahead of the first game
Runners up in 2006, France crossed a new threshold in qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, having never before graced the finals on four consecutive occasions.
The generation of players that included Zinedine Zidane, Laurent Blanc, Didier Deschamps and Fabien Barthez finally found a way past the obstacles that had blocked the route of earlier vintages.
The fine team featuring Michel Platini, Alain Giresse, Luis Fernandez and Jean Tigana had stumbled at the semi-final stage in 1982 and 1986, but their successors went all the way to lifting the Trophy in 1998.
Despite a drop in standards in 2002 and 2006, France still came agonisingly close to grasping a second global title in the latter tournament, only losing out on penalties to Italy in the Final.
Take a look at the official French Tourist Website for more information.
After a turbulent couple of years that has seen three coaches come and go and more than sixty players pull on the famous green jersey, Mexico have returned to calmer waters under the steadying influence of Javier Aguirre.
The former Atletico Madrid coach has put together a team comprising bright young talents and established stars, restoring their wavering confidence in the process.
Following the appointment of the man they call El Vasco (The Basque), the regional powerhouses shot up from fifth to second place in the final six-team qualification group in the CONCACAF Zone, winning five games, drawing one and losing just the one.
Having safely made their way to the finals, their objective will now be to progress beyond the Round of 16, where they have been knocked out at the last four FIFA World Cup finals.
Head over to Visit Mexico for more information on visiting this South American haven.
There is an air of cautious optimism in South Africa as the Rainbow Nation prepares to write what is undoubtedly the most significant chapter of its short football history. A mammoth task lies ahead.
In 1996, four years after their readmission to international football, South Africa shot to prominence and stunned the African continent by claiming their maiden CAF Africa Cup of Nations trophy against Tunisia at Soccer City in Johannesburg. How ironic that, 16 years later, South Africa will return to the venue where they achieved this first major success, aiming to rewrite the script on an even bigger stage.
Their gallant performance at the FIFA Confederations Cup last June, when they lost narrowly to Brazil in the semi-finals and to Spain in the third place play-off, should certainly serve as a chilling reminder to their detractors that this team, when stretched to its potential, cannot be underestimated.
Interested visitors can take a look at the South Africa Tourism website for more details.
Few nations have the footballing history of Uruguay. Nestling on the northern bank on the River Plate, the country has a population of a little over three million yet boasts an impressive collection of world, Olympic and continental titles and a record that compares favourably with the world’s best.
The glory years of Uruguayan football are but a fading memory, however, with La Celeste having made just two appearances at the last five FIFA World Cup finals.
The man charged with the task of improving that record and raising their profile once more is Oscar Tabarez, who is now in his second stint as national coach, having taken the Uruguayans through to the last 16 at Italy 1990. El Maestro, as he is known in his homeland, certainly has the resources to do achieve those objectives.
Sprinkled with players from Europe’s major leagues, his young side are determined to impress in South Africa, and in Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez they have the star quality to advance beyond the group phase and into the knockout rounds for the first time in two decades.
Visit Uruguay has more information.
Franck Ribery, Mathieu Valbuena and Gael Clichy of France prepare for kick-off
Despite a tortuous qualification campaign, Argentina are travelling to South Africa with serious designs on winning the title for the first time in 24 years.
To achieve that goal, the 1978 and 1986 world champions have pinned their faith in coach Diego Armando Maradona, the country’s most famous footballing son and the inspiration behind the second of those memorable triumphs.
His task is made easier by the fact that he has a star-studded squad at his disposal, one that features several survivors of the team that reached the quarter-finals at Germany 2006, not to mention Lionel Messi and a host of other young stars with several youth titles to their name.
Given that roll call, the Argentineans appear to have the resources to atone for recent disappointments and win the country’s first international trophy since the Copa America in 1993.
Argentina Tourism is the first port of call for all interested visitors.
After seemingly coming from nowhere to triumph at UEFA EURO 2004, Greece continue to defy the odds under wily coach Otto Rehhagel and have clinched qualification for only their second FIFA World Cup finals since USA 1994.
South Africa 2010 will be coach Rehhagel’s first FIFA World Cup finals, where he is set to be the oldest strategist on show. After a glittering career in his homeland, the German boss has earned worldwide recognition for his achievements with the Greek national team since taking over in 2001.
With Greece having only reached one FIFA World Cup and one European Championship prior to his arrival, within three years of taking the post Rehhagel had guided the Greeks to EURO glory, before going on to clinch qualification for both EURO 2008 and South Africa 2010.
Greece has an excellent travel website for holidaymakers looking to make a visit.
Asia’s most frequent visitors to the FIFA World Cup, South Korea are also the continent’s most successful team at the showpiece event. The Taeguk Warriors will be hoping to translate their regional dominance on to the world stage again when South Africa 2010 kicks off.
South Korea may have qualified for their seventh consecutive world finals, but it was a bumpy ride this time.
Despite a series of lacklustre performances in the third round, the South Koreans managed to top their group after two goalless draws with neighbours Korea DPR.
The North Koreans proved to be their nemesis again in the final round, holding the Taeguk Warriors to a 1-1 stalemate in Shanghai. However, they bounced back in style with back-to-back wins over United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, before a crucial 1-1 draw with Iran in Tehran.
A 1-0 home victory in the Korean derby followed, and the mission was accomplished with a 2-0 win against UAE on the road.
Expectations are somewhat diminished for Nigeria at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, but it was not long ago that the Super Eagles were seen as the most likely African nation to finally reach the last four of a FIFA World Cup.
And though they have just one point from their last five matches in the finals and missed out on Germany 2006 altogether, the continent’s most populous nation looks likely to be a dangerous dark horse with little to lose up against the world’s best.
That was how the side came to USA 94, where they dismantled eventual semi-finalists Bulgaria 3-0 in their first match before going on to cruelly fall 2-1 against Italy in the second round.
A similarly quick start in 1998 - they stunned Spain 3-2 in one of the matches of the tournament to start and beat Bulgaria again 1-0 - gave way to another second round defeat, this time a disheartening thumping at the hands of Denmark 4-1.
But after dramatically reaching South Africa in their final qualifier, Nigeria could be forgiven for going into the finals with a positive attitude.
Take a look at Nigeria Tourism website for more information.
The Greek squad arrives at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa
South Africa will mark Algeria’s third appearance at a FIFA World Cup finals, and they will be looking to graduate from the group stage for the first time in their history.
In 1982, they made history by defeating West Germany 2-1 and Chile 3-2, only to lose 2-0 to Austria. Four years on from their debut, with a certain Saadane in the dugout, they shared a 1-1 draw with Northern Ireland before losing 1-0 to Brazil and 3-0 to Spain.
Algeria will end a 24-year absence from football’s top table when they kick their first ball at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.
Les Fennecs (the Desert Foxes) may have won the CAF African Cup of Nations since appearing at Mexico 1986, but they spent a long time in the wilderness before slowly working their way back as a competitive force at the start of the century.
The current crop of players feels stronger than ever, with enough belief to put in a historic performance in South Africa.
Take a look at the national tourism website for more information.
David Beckham’s injury means that England will be minus their star player, however, the appointment of coach Fabio Capello appears to have brought fresh vigour to the Three Lions’ squad, many of whom have a point to prove after lacklustre displays when it mattered most under Sven-Goran Eriksson and Steve McClaren
Dubbed English football’s ‘golden generation’, only to fall flat at UEFA EURO 2004 and the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany, South Africa 2010 may well be the last chance of international silverware for some of the most well-known faces in the world game.
England have appeared at 11 previous editions of the global showpiece, including their debut at Brazil 1950.
Victors on home soil in 1966, their best performance outside their own shores came under the late Sir Bobby Robson at Italy 1990, when a side featuring the likes of Gary Lineker, Chris Waddle, Paul Gascoigne and David Platt reached the last four only to lose out on penalties to eventual winners West Germany.
Head over to Visit Britain for more information.
A nation of just two million people, Slovenia have already punched above their weight to secure a place at this FIFA World Cup.
When one considers that they knocked out Poland, Czech Republic and, finally, Russia - population 142 million – to take their place in South Africa, the achievement becomes near-miraculous.
Yet 2010 is, in fact, this fledgling football nation’s second appearance on the game’s biggest stage, and they are determined to continue defying the odds when they square up to the world’s best.
The Slovenia Tourist Board has loads more information on visiting this picturesque destination.
The United States reached the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa by qualifying in first place in the final six-team Hexagonal phase of North, Central America and Caribbean Zone qualifying.
Under the careful guidance of coach Bob Bradley, a well-drilled Stars and Stripes’ blend of proven internationals and up-and-coming stars never looked in danger of missing out, and will be keen to build on their second-place finish at the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009.
The newly formed US Travel Association has all the latest news on visiting the world’s largest tourism destination.
Team USA celebrate a goal against the Socceroos in a warm up match
After a 32-year absence from the world stage, Australia made a strong statement at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, reaching the knockout stage where it took a last-minute goal from eventual champions Italy to eliminate Guus Hiddink’s team.
The squad, now under another Dutchman, Pim Verbeek, features many of the Germany 2006 personnel and is a battle-hardened and experienced group.
Australia have appeared on the world stage just twice, but are now making up for lost time by claiming a second consecutive qualification. Following a breakthrough showing in 1974, where a team of amateur players were far from embarrassed despite a first-round exit, the sports-mad nation had to wait another 32 years for a return to the FIFA World Cup.
The visit to Germany proved a success with Australia finishing second in their group behind Brazil and ahead of Croatia and Japan. It took a penalty deep into injury-time for Italy to overcome the Socceroos in the Round of 16 and continue their run to the crown.
The official Australia tourism website has everything visitors need to know before heading down under.
Three-time FIFA World Cup winners Germany are usually there or thereabouts when the honours are handed out, and the current national squad will head for South Africa with their sights and expectations set appropriately high.
After triumphing in Switzerland in 1954, on home soil in 1974 and in Italy in 1990, the team now coached by Joachim Low are aiming to hoist the most prestigious trophy in the world’s favourite sport for the fourth time.
The Germans’ consistent success is based on deep reserves of experience, finely-honed tactical know-how, and the ability to rise to the occasion when the chips are down.
Their qualifying campaign merely served to emphasise the enduring nature of those attributes. New captain Philipp Lahm will be utterly determined to lead his country to a major international title after the runners-up spot at the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan, third on home soil in 2006, and another second place at UEFA EURO 2008 in Austria and Switzerland.
Holidaymakers interested in visiting this central European hotspot can take a look at Germany Travel.
The only African side to get out of the group stage at the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany and the first to qualify for South Africa 2010, Ghana are anxious to prove themselves as the cream of the continent.
Though this will be only their second appearance at the finals, the Black Stars have enjoyed considerable success at all levels of international football.
They have won four CAF African Cup of Nations titles, though none since 1982, as well as two FIFA U-17 World Cups, and they became the first African team to lift the FIFA U-20 World Cup when they beat Brazil on penalties in October 2009.
With added experience since their 2006 adventure, where they lost to Italy and Brazil but beat the Czech Republic and USA, Ghana are set to be a major threat at Africa’s first FIFA World Cup.
Ghana’s tourism sector is also booming, with more information here .
Serbia played their maiden international, independently, on August 16th 2006, winning 3-1 away to Czech Republic. They did, however, former part of two now disbanded teams: Yugoslavia and Serbia & Montenegro.
The former participated at nine FIFA World Cups between 1930 and 2002, and finished runners-up at the UEFA European Championship twice. Then, at Germany 2006, Serbia & Montenegro lost all three matches in a competitive group to fall at the first hurdle.
While Yugoslavia and Serbia & Montenegro wore blue shirts, Serbia adopted a red jersey and the nickname Beli Orlovi (White Eagles).
Visitors to the emerging eastern European destination will find a wealth of information on the Serbia national tourism website.