World Football House hosts presidential reception

World Football House hosts presidential reception

South Africa’s President Zuma welcomed a VIP delegation that included 25 presidents from across the world, as well as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, for the grand opening of World Football House, a ground-breaking exhibition taking place in Johannesburg during this summer’s World Cup.

The exhibition, which is being held at the Sandton Convention Centre, is for the first time in World Cup history, providing each of the 32 participating countries a dynamic platform to showcase their national brand identity.

Among the delegation was President of Mexico Felipe Calderón, who proudly sported his national colours ahead of the opening game of the tournament, South Africa vs Mexico.

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(UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the opening of World Football House)

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also toured the exhibition with intent interest, as he sees Africa’s first World Cup as offering the continent a brighter hope for the future.

The UN Secretary-General was also among the delegation to sign up to 1GOAL, a campaign that uses the power of football to ensure that education for all is a lasting impact of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

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(Lindiwe Mahlangu-Kwele, CEO, Joburg Tourism Company, pledges her support for 1GOAL)

1GOAL, which is one of the main exhibitors at World Football House, is bringing together footballers, fans, charities, corporations and individuals to lobby and achieve the aim of getting every child across the world the right to an education.

1GOAL will be aiming to generate awareness and signatures from the estimated 450,000 fans that are expected to attend World Football House during the World Cup.

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(President Zuma makes an opening address at the World Football House Presidents Lunch)

The exhibition is a “Global Village” for the duration of the tournament, providing each country with a ground breaking opportunity for destination branding and cultural and commercial exchange and visitors with a unique World Cup experience.

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(Graham Cooke, Founder, World Football House with President of Mexico, Felipe Calderón)

After touring the exhibition, the delegation enjoyed a special lunch at the Adidas Centre, also located in the Sandton Convention Centre, before heading off the opening ceremony and opening game of the tournament.

The exhibition was also given an added sprinkling of glamour with all 32 Miss World finalists, representing their participating teams, attending the exhibition.

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(UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with Morgan Richard Tsvangirai, Prime Minister of Zimbabwe)

Yesterday the beauty queens also attended the launch of SABC’s new studios, which are co-located alongside World Football House in the Sandton Convention Centre. The studios will be the media hub throughout the World Cup.

The Miss World finalists will be supporting Johannesburg Tourism Company as part of the Joburg Rocks campaign, sharing their World Cup experiences in the City of Gold with millions of football fans.

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(President of Mexico, Felipe Calderón with Miss Mexico)

They will be based in the heart of the action – Melrose Park one of the designated Johannesburg fan zones. The Joburg Rocks campaign includes a series of events such as the Festival of Africa which embraces African music, dance, food and history.