2010 FIFA World Cup

2010 FIFA World Cup

2010 FIFA World Cup
South Africa 2010

2010 FIFA World Cup official logo
Tournament details
Host country South Africa
Dates 11 June – 11 July
Teams 32 (from 6 confederations)
Venue(s) 10 (in 9 host cities)
Final positions
Champions Spain (1st title)
Runner-up Netherlands
Third place Germany
Fourth place Uruguay
Tournament statistics
Matches played 64
Goals scored 145 (2.27 per match)
Attendance 3,178,856 (49,670 per match)
Top scorer(s) Germany Thomas Müller
Spain David Villa
Netherlands Wesley Sneijder
Uruguay Diego Forlán
(5 goals)
Best player Uruguay Diego Forlán
v • d • e

The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for international association football teams held every four years. Spain won the tournament, which took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010. The bidding process for hosting the tournament finals was open only to African nations; in 2004, the international football federation, FIFA, selected South Africa over Egypt and Morocco to become the first African nation to host the finals.

The matches were played in ten stadia in nine host cities around the country, with the final played at the Soccer City stadium in South Africa’s largest city, Johannesburg. Thirty-two teams were selected for participation via a worldwide qualification tournament that began in August 2007. In the first round of the tournament finals, the teams competed in round-robin groups of four teams for points, with the top two teams in each group proceeding. These sixteen teams advanced to the knockout stage, where three rounds of play decided which teams would participate in the final match.

In the final match, Spain, the European champions, defeated third-time finalists the Netherlands 1–0 after extra time, with Andrés Iniesta’s goal giving Spain their first-ever world crown. Host nation South Africa, along with 2006 world champions Italy and 2006 runners-up France were eliminated in the first round of the tournament.

The 2010 finals marked the first time a European nation had won the tournament outside its home continent, as well as the first time that two different teams from the same continent had become world champions in succession. With a pool of entrants comprising 204 of the 208 FIFA national teams at the time, the 2010 World Cup shares with the 2008 Summer Olympics the record for most competing nations in a sporting event. The opening ceremony marked a return to this tradition,[1] following a cancellation of the previous one.[2]

Host selection

People watching the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa

Africa was chosen as the host for the 2010 World Cup as part of a short-lived policy, abandoned in 2007, to rotate the event among football confederations. Five African nations placed bids to host the 2010 World Cup: Egypt, Morocco, South Africa and a joint bid from Libya and Tunisia.

Following the decision of the FIFA Executive Committee not to allow co-hosted tournaments, Tunisia withdrew from the bidding process. The committee also decided not to consider Libya’s solo bid as it no longer met all the stipulations laid down in the official List of Requirements.

The winning bid was announced by FIFA president Sepp Blatter at a media conference on 15 May 2004 in Zürich; in the first round of voting South Africa received 14 votes, Morocco received 10 votes and Egypt no votes. South Africa, which had narrowly failed to win the right to host the 2006 event, was thus awarded the right to host the tournament.

During 2006 and 2007, rumours circulated in various news sources that the 2010 World Cup could be moved to another country.Franz Beckenbauer, Horst R. Schmidt and, reportedly, some FIFA executives, expressed concern over the planning, organisation, and pace of South Africa’s preparations. FIFA officials repeatedly expressed their confidence in South Africa as host, stating that a contingency plan existed only to cover natural catastrophes, as had been in place at previous FIFA World Cups.


The qualification draw for the 2010 World Cup was held in Durban on 25 November 2007. As the host nation, South Africa qualified automatically for the tournament. As happened in the previous tournament, the defending champions were not given an automatic berth, and Italy had to participate in qualification.

Some controversies took place during the qualifications. In the second leg of the play-off between France and the Republic of Ireland, French captain Thierry Henry, unseen by the referee, handled the ball in the lead up to a late goal, which enabled France to qualify ahead of Ireland, sparking widespread controversy and debate. FIFA rejected a request from the Football Association of Ireland to replay the match, and Ireland later withdrew a request to be included as an unprecedented 33rd World Cup entrant. As a result, FIFA announced a review into the use of technology or extra officials at the highest level, but decided against the widely expected fast-tracking of goal-line referee’s assistants for the South African tournament.

Costa Rica complained over Uruguay’s winning goal in the CONMEBOL–CONCACAF playoff,[13] while Egypt and Algeria’s November 2009 matches were surrounded by reports of crowd trouble. On the subject of fair play, FIFA President Sepp Blatter said:

I appeal to all the players and coaches to observe this fair play. In 2010 we want to prove that football is more than just kicking a ball but has social and cultural value … So we ask the players ‘please observe fair play’ so they will be an example to the rest of the world.

List of qualified teams

The following 32 teams, shown with final pre-tournament rankings,[15] qualified for the final tournament.

AFC (4)
  • Australia (20)
  • Japan (45)
  • Korea DPR (105)
  • Korea Republic (47)
CAF (6)
  • Algeria (30)
  • Cameroon (19)
  • Côte d’Ivoire (27)
  • Ghana (32)
  • Nigeria (21)
  • South Africa (83) (hosts)
  • Honduras (38)
  • Mexico (17)
  • United States (14)
  • Argentina (7)
  • Brazil (1)
  • Chile (18)
  • Paraguay (31)
  • Uruguay (16)
OFC (1)
  • New Zealand (78)
UEFA (13)
  • Denmark (36)
  • England (8)
  • France (9)
  • Germany (6)
  • Greece (13)
  • Italy (5)
  • Netherlands (4)
  • Portugal (3)
  • Serbia (15)
  • Slovakia (34)
  • Slovenia (25)
  • Spain (2)
  • Switzerland (24)

Countries qualified for World Cup      Country failed to qualify      Countries that did not enter World Cup      Country not a FIFA member


The Lukasrand Tower in Pretoria sporting a football in anticipation of the World Cup

Five new stadia were built for the tournament, and five of the existing venues were upgraded. Construction costs were expected to be R8.4 billion (just over US$1 billion.).

South Africa also improved its public transport infrastructure within the host cities, including Johannesburg’s Gautrain and other metro systems, and major road networks were improved. In March 2009, Danny Jordaan, the president of the 2010 World Cup organising committee, reported that all stadia for the tournament were on schedule to be completed within six months.

The country implemented special measures to ensure the safety and security of spectators in accordance with standard FIFA requirements, including a temporary restriction of flight operation in the airspace surrounding the stadia.

At a ceremony to mark 100 days before the event, FIFA president Sepp Blatter praised the readiness of the country for the event.

Construction strike

On 8 July 2009, 70,000 construction workers[22] who were working on the new stadia walked off their jobs.[23] The majority of the workers receive R2500 per month (about £192, €224 or US$313), but the unions alleged that some workers were grossly underpaid. A spokesperson for the National Union of Mineworkers said to the SABC that the “no work no pay” strike would go on until FIFA assessed penalties on the organisers. Other unions threatened to strike into 2011. The strike was swiftly dealt with and workers were back at work within a week of it starting. There were no further strikes and all stadia and construction projects were completed in time for the kick off.

Prize money

The total prize money on offer for the tournament was confirmed by FIFA as $420 million (including payments of $40m to domestic clubs), a 60 percent increase on the 2006 tournament.[27] Before the tournament, each of the 32 entrants receive $1 million for preparation costs. Once at the tournament, the prize money would be distributed as follows:[27]

  • $8 million – To each team exiting after the group stage (16 teams)
  • $9 million – To each team exiting after the round of 16 (8 teams)
  • $14 million – To each team exiting after the quarter-finals (4 teams)
  • $18 million – Fourth placed team
  • $20 million – Third placed team
  • $24 million – Runner up
  • $30 million – Winner

In a first for the World Cup, FIFA made payments to the domestic clubs of the players representing their national teams at the tournament. This saw a total of $40 million paid to domestic clubs. This was the result of an agreement reached in 2008 between FIFA and European clubs to disband the G-14 group and drop their claims for compensation dating back to 2005 over the financial cost of injuries sustained to their players while on international duty, such as that from Belgian club Charleroi S.C. for injury to Morocco’s Abdelmajid Oulmers in a friendly game in 2004, and from English club Newcastle United for an injury to England’s Michael Owen in the 2006 World Cup.[28][29][30]


In 2005, the organisers released a provisional list of thirteen venues to be used for the World Cup: Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg (two venues), Kimberley, Klerksdorp, Nelspruit, Orkney, Polokwane, Port Elizabeth, Pretoria, and Rustenburg. This was narrowed down to the ten venues[31] that were officially announced by FIFA on 17 March 2006.

The altitude of several venues affected the motion of the ball[32] and player performance, although FIFA’s medical chief downplayed this consideration.[35] Six of the ten venues were over 1200m above sea level, with the two Johannesburg stadia (Soccer City and Ellis Park) the highest at approximately 1750m. The stadia in order of altitude are: Soccer City and Ellis Park Stadium, 1753m; Royal Bafokeng Stadium, 1500m; Free State Stadium, 1400m; Peter Mokaba Stadium, 1310m; Loftus Versfeld Stadium, 1214m; Mbombela Stadium, 660m; Cape Town Stadium, Moses Mabhida Stadium and Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium near sea level.

Johannesburg Cape Town Durban Johannesburg
Soccer City[38] Cape Town Stadium2 Moses Mabhida Stadium1 Ellis Park Stadium
26°14′5.27″S 27°58′56.47″E / 26.2347972°S 27.9823528°E / -26.2347972; 27.9823528 (Soccer City) 33°54′12.46″S 18°24′40.15″E / 33.9034611°S 18.4111528°E / -33.9034611; 18.4111528 (Cape Town Stadium) 29°49′46″S 31°01′49″E / 29.82944°S 31.03028°E / -29.82944; 31.03028 (Moses Mabhida Stadium) 26°11′51.07″S 28°3′38.76″E / 26.1975194°S 28.0607667°E / -26.1975194; 28.0607667 (Ellis Park Stadium)
Capacity: 84,490 Capacity: 64,100 Capacity: 62,760 Capacity: 55,686
Inside Bowl of Soccer City Stadium.jpg CTSRW01.JPG Durban 21.08.2009 12-02-25.jpg View of Ellis Park.jpg
Map of South Africa

Cape Town
Port Elizabeth
Port Elizabeth
Loftus Versfeld Stadium Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
25°45′12″S 28°13′22″E / 25.75333°S 28.22278°E / -25.75333; 28.22278 (Loftus Versfeld Stadium) 33°56′16″S 25°35′56″E / 33.93778°S 25.59889°E / -33.93778; 25.59889 (Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium)
Capacity: 42,858 Capacity: 42,486
Loftus Versfeld Stadium.jpg Nelsonmandelabaystadium2.jpg
Polokwane Nelspruit Bloemfontein Rustenburg
23°55′29″S 29°28′08″E / 23.924689°S 29.468765°E / -23.924689; 29.468765 (Peter Mokaba Stadium) 25°27′42″S 30°55′47″E / 25.46172°S 30.929689°E / -25.46172; 30.929689 (Mbombela Stadium) 29°07′02.25″S 26°12′31.85″E / 29.1172917°S 26.2088472°E / -29.1172917; 26.2088472 (Free State Stadium) 25°34′43″S 27°09′39″E / 25.5786°S 27.1607°E / -25.5786; 27.1607 (Royal Bafokeng Stadium)
Peter Mokaba Stadium Mbombela Stadium Free State Stadium Royal Bafokeng Stadium
Capacity: 41,733 Capacity: 40,929 Capacity: 40,911 Capacity: 38,646
Estadio Peter Mokaba.JPG Seats and field of Mbombela Stadium.jpg South Africa-Bloemfontein-Free State Stadium01.jpg Bafokeng.jpg
  • ^1 As Durban Stadium
  • ^2 As Green Point Stadium

The following stadia were all upgraded to meet FIFA specifications:

  • Cecil Payne Stadium[39]
  • Dobsonville Stadium[39]
  • Gelvandale Stadium[40]
  • Giant Stadium[41]
  • HM Pitje Stadium[41]
  • King Zwelithini Stadium
  • Olympia Park Stadium
  • Orlando Stadium[39]
  • Princess Magogo Stadium[42]
  • Rabie Ridge Stadium[39]
  • Rand Stadium[39]
  • Ruimsig Stadium[39]
  • Seisa Ramabodu Stadium[43]
  • Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium[42]
  • Super Stadium[41]

Final draw

The FIFA Organising Committee approved the procedure for the Final Draw on 2 December 2009. The seeding was based on the October 2009 FIFA World Ranking and seven squads joined hosts South Africa as seeded teams for the final draw. No two teams from the same confederation were to be drawn in the same group, except allowing a maximum of two European teams in a group.

  • Pot 1 (Seeds: host & top seven):
  • South Africa, Brazil, Spain, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Argentina, England
  • Pot 2 (Asia, North/Central America and Caribbean & Oceania):
  • Australia, Japan, Korea DPR, Korea Republic, Honduras, Mexico, United States, New Zealand
  • Pot 3 (Africa & South America):
  • Algeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay
  • Pot 4 (Europe):
  • Denmark, France, Greece, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland

The group draw was staged in Cape Town, South Africa, on 4 December 2009 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.[45] The ceremony was presented by South African actress Charlize Theron, assisted by FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke.[46] The balls were drawn by English football star David Beckham and African sporting figures Haile Gebrselassie, John Smit, Makhaya Ntini, Matthew Booth and Simphiwe Dludlu.[47]


FIFA’s Referees’ Committee selected 29 referees through its Refereeing Assistance Programme to officiate at the World Cup: four from the AFC, three from the CAF, six from CONMEBOL, four from CONCACAF, two from the OFC and ten from UEFA.[48] English referee Howard Webb was chosen to referee the final, making him the first person to referee both the UEFA Champions League final and the World Cup final in the same year.[49]


The Brazilian and North Korean teams before their group stage match

For more details on this topic, see 2010 FIFA World Cup squads.

As with the 2006 tournament, each team’s squad for the 2010 World Cup consisted of 23 players. Each participating national association had to confirm their final 23-player squad by 1 June 2010. Teams were permitted to make late replacements in the event of serious injury, at any time up to 24 hours before their first game.[50]

Of the 736 players participating in the tournament, over half played their club football in five European domestic leagues; those in England (117 players), Germany (84), Italy (80), Spain (59) and France (46).[51] The English, German and Italian squads were made up of entirely home based players, while only Nigeria had no players from clubs in their own league. In all, players from 52 national leagues entered the tournament. FC Barcelona of Spain was the club contributing the most players to the tournament, with 13 players of their side travelling, 7 with the Spanish team, while another 7 clubs contributed 10 players or more.

Group stage

The first round, or group stage, saw the thirty-two teams divided into eight groups of four teams. Each group was a round-robin of six games, where each team played one match against each of the other teams in the same group. Teams were awarded three points for a win, one point for a draw and none for a defeat. The teams finishing first and second in each group qualified for the Round of 16.

In a first for a World Cup, the host team did not advance beyond the initial stage. Defending champions Italy and 2006 runners-up France were also eliminated after finishing last in their respective groups.[52]

The South American teams performed strongly, with all five advancing to the knockout stages (four as group winners). Despite hopes that African teams would perform well on their home continent, their overall performance was judged disappointing by observers such as Cameroon great Roger Milla.[53] Only Ghana progressed out of the first round; of the five eliminated African nations, three failed to win any matches.

Only six out of thirteen UEFA teams progressed to the last sixteen, a record low in the 32-team era. New Zealand ended the tournament as the only undefeated team after drawing their three group matches, but they finished behind Paraguay and Slovakia and were eliminated.

Champion      Runner-up Third place      Fourth place Quarter-finals      Round of 16 Group stage
Tie-breaking criteria

Teams were ranked on the following criteria:[54]

1. Greater number of points in all group matches
2. Goal difference in all group matches
3. Greater number of goals scored in all group matches
4. Greatest number of points in matches between teams
5. Goal difference in matches between teams
6. Greatest number of goals scored in matches between teams
7. Drawing of lots by the FIFA Organising Committee
Key to colours in group tables
Teams that advanced to the round of 16

Group A


v • d • e
Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Uruguay 3 2 1 0 4 0 +4 7
Mexico 3 1 1 1 3 2 +1 4
South Africa 3 1 1 1 3 5 −2 4
France 3 0 1 2 1 4 −3 1
11 June 2010
South Africa 1 – 1 Mexico Soccer City, Johannesburg
Uruguay 0 – 0 France Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
16 June 2010
South Africa 0 – 3 Uruguay Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria
17 June 2010
France 0 – 2 Mexico Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane
22 June 2010
Mexico 0 – 1 Uruguay Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg
France 1 – 2 South Africa Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein

Group B


v • d • e
Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Argentina 3 3 0 0 7 1 +6 9
Korea Republic 3 1 1 1 5 6 −1 4
Greece 3 1 0 2 2 5 −3 3
Nigeria 3 0 1 2 3 5 −2 1
12 June 2010
Korea Republic 2 – 0 Greece Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Argentina 1 – 0 Nigeria Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg
17 June 2010
Argentina 4 – 1 Korea Republic Soccer City, Johannesburg
Greece 2 – 1 Nigeria Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
22 June 2010
Nigeria 2 – 2 Korea Republic Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban
Greece 0 – 2 Argentina Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane

Group C


v • d • e
Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
United States 3 1 2 0 4 3 +1 5
England 3 1 2 0 2 1 +1 5
Slovenia 3 1 1 1 3 3 0 4
Algeria 3 0 1 2 0 2 −2 1
12 June 2010
England 1 – 1 United States Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg
13 June 2010
Algeria 0 – 1 Slovenia Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane
18 June 2010
Slovenia 2 – 2 United States Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg
England 0 – 0 Algeria Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
23 June 2010
Slovenia 0 – 1 England Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
United States 1 – 0 Algeria Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria

Group D


v • d • e
Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Germany 3 2 0 1 5 1 +4 6
Ghana 3 1 1 1 2 2 0 4
Australia 3 1 1 1 3 6 −3 4
Serbia 3 1 0 2 2 3 −1 3
13 June 2010
Serbia 0 – 1 Ghana Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria
Germany 4 – 0 Australia Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban
18 June 2010
Germany 0 – 1 Serbia Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
19 June 2010
Ghana 1 – 1 Australia Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg
23 June 2010
Ghana 0 – 1 Germany Soccer City, Johannesburg
Australia 2 – 1 Serbia Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit

Group E


v • d • e
Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Netherlands 3 3 0 0 5 1 +4 9
Japan 3 2 0 1 4 2 +2 6
Denmark 3 1 0 2 3 6 −3 3
Cameroon 3 0 0 3 2 5 −3 0
14 June 2010
Netherlands 2 – 0 Denmark Soccer City, Johannesburg
Japan 1 – 0 Cameroon Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
19 June 2010
Netherlands 1 – 0 Japan Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban
Cameroon 1 – 2 Denmark Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria
24 June 2010
Denmark 1 – 3 Japan Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg
Cameroon 1 – 2 Netherlands Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town

Group F


v • d • e
Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Paraguay 3 1 2 0 3 1 +2 5
Slovakia 3 1 1 1 4 5 −1 4
New Zealand 3 0 3 0 2 2 0 3
Italy 3 0 2 1 4 5 −1 2
14 June 2010
Italy 1 – 1 Paraguay Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
15 June 2010
New Zealand 1 – 1 Slovakia Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg
20 June 2010
Slovakia 0 – 2 Paraguay Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Italy 1 – 1 New Zealand Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
24 June 2010
Slovakia 3 – 2 Italy Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg
Paraguay 0 – 0 New Zealand Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane

Group G


v • d • e
Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Brazil 3 2 1 0 5 2 +3 7
Portugal 3 1 2 0 7 0 +7 5
Côte d’Ivoire 3 1 1 1 4 3 +1 4
Korea DPR 3 0 0 3 1 12 −11 0
15 June 2010
Côte d’Ivoire 0 – 0 Portugal Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Brazil 2 – 1 Korea DPR Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg
20 June 2010
Brazil 3 – 1 Côte d’Ivoire Soccer City, Johannesburg
21 June 2010
Portugal 7 – 0 Korea DPR Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
25 June 2010
Portugal 0 – 0 Brazil Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban
Korea DPR 0 – 3 Côte d’Ivoire Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit

Group H


v • d • e
Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Spain 3 2 0 1 4 2 +2 6
Chile 3 2 0 1 3 2 +1 6
Switzerland 3 1 1 1 1 1 0 4
Honduras 3 0 1 2 0 3 −3 1
16 June 2010
Honduras 0 – 1 Chile Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Spain 0 – 1 Switzerland Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban
21 June 2010
Chile 1 – 0 Switzerland Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Spain 2 – 0 Honduras Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg
25 June 2010
Chile 1 – 2 Spain Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria
Switzerland 0 – 0 Honduras Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein

Knockout stage

All times listed are South African Standard Time (UTC+02)

The knockout stage comprised the sixteen teams that advanced from the group stage of the tournament. There were four rounds of matches, with each round eliminating half of the teams entering that round. The successive rounds were the round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals, and the final. There was also a play-off to decide third and fourth place. For each game in the knockout stage, any draw at 90 minutes was followed by thirty minutes of extra time; if scores were still level, there was a penalty shootout to determine who progressed to the next round.[55]

Round of 16 Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
26 June – Port Elizabeth
Uruguay 2
2 July – Johannesburg
Korea Republic 1
Uruguay (pen.) 1 (4)
26 June – Rustenburg
Ghana 1 (2)
United States 1
6 July – Cape Town
Ghana (a.e.t.) 2
Uruguay 2
28 June – Durban
Netherlands 3
Netherlands 2
2 July – Port Elizabeth
Slovakia 1
Netherlands 2
28 June – Johannesburg
Brazil 1
Brazil 3
11 July – Johannesburg
Chile 0
Netherlands 0
27 June – Johannesburg
Spain (a.e.t.) 1
Argentina 3
3 July – Cape Town
Mexico 1
Argentina 0
27 June – Bloemfontein
Germany 4
Germany 4
7 July – Durban
England 1
Germany 0
29 June – Pretoria
Spain 1 Third place
Paraguay (pen.) 0 (5)
3 July – Johannesburg 10 July – Port Elizabeth
Japan 0 (3)
Paraguay 0 Uruguay 2
29 June – Cape Town
Spain 1 Germany 3
Spain 1
Portugal 0

Round of 16

In this round, each group winner (A-H) was paired against the runner-up from another group.

  • South American teams again performed strongly in the round of 16, with four teams advancing to the quarter-finals including Brazil who defeated fellow South American team Chile, the largest number of South American teams in the final eight since 1930
  • England’s 4–1 loss to Germany marked their worst ever defeat at a World Cup finals[56][57]
  • Ghana defeated the United States to become the third African team to reach the last eight (after Cameroon in 1990 and Senegal in 2002)
  • Paraguay and Ghana reached the quarter-finals for the first time

The round was marked by some controversial referees’ calls, including:

  • A disallowed goal by England in their 4–1 loss against Germany, where the shot by Frank Lampard was seen to cross the goal line when shown on television broadcast replays.
  • An allowed goal scored by Argentina in their 3–1 win over Mexico, where Argentine striker Carlos Tévez appeared to be offside when shown on television broadcast replays, which were shown inside the stadium shortly after the incident.
  • The only allowed goal scored by Spain in their 1–0 win over Portugal, where Spanish striker David Villa appeared to be offside when shown on post-match television replays (0.22m according to ESPN axis).[58][59][60]

FIFA President Sepp Blatter took the unusual step of apologizing to England and Mexico for the decisions that went against them, saying “Yesterday I spoke to the two federations directly concerned by referees’ mistakes […] I apologised to England and Mexico. The English said thank you and accepted that you can win some and you lose some and the Mexicans bowed their head and accepted it.”[61] Blatter also promised to re-open the discussion regarding devices which monitor possible goals and make that information immediately available to match officials, saying “We will naturally take on board the discussion on technology and have the first opportunity in July at the business meeting.”[61] Blatter’s call came less than four months after FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke said the door was closed on goal-line technology and video replays after a vote by the IFAB.[61]

26 June 2010
Uruguay 2 – 1 Korea Republic Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Attendance: 30,597
Referee: Wolfgang Stark (Germany)
Suárez Goal 8′, 80′ Report Lee Chung-Yong Goal 68′

26 June 2010
United States 1 – 2 (a.e.t.) Ghana Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg
Attendance: 34,976
Referee: Viktor Kassai (Hungary)
Donovan Goal 62′ (pen.) Report Prince Goal 5′
Gyan Goal 93′

27 June 2010
Germany 4 – 1 England Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Attendance: 40,510
Referee: Jorge Larrionda (Uruguay)
Klose Goal 20′
Podolski Goal 32′
Müller Goal 67′, 70′
Report Upson Goal 37′

27 June 2010
Argentina 3 – 1 Mexico Soccer City, Johannesburg
Attendance: 84,377
Referee: Roberto Rosetti (Italy)
Tévez Goal 26′, 52′
Higuaín Goal 33′
Report Hernández Goal 71′

28 June 2010
Netherlands 2 – 1 Slovakia Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban
Attendance: 61,962
Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (Spain)
Robben Goal 18′
Sneijder Goal 84′
Report Vittek Goal 90+4′ (pen.)

28 June 2010
Brazil 3 – 0 Chile Soccer City, Johannesburg
Attendance: 54,096
Referee: Howard Webb (England)
Juan Goal 34′
Luís Fabiano Goal 38′
Robinho Goal 59′

29 June 2010
Paraguay 0 – 0 (a.e.t.) Japan Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria
Attendance: 36,742
Referee: Frank De Bleeckere (Belgium)
Barreto Scored
Barrios Scored
Riveros Scored
Valdez Scored
Cardozo Scored
5 – 3 Scored Endō
Scored Hasebe
Missed (hit the crossbar) Komano
Scored Honda

29 June 2010
Spain 1 – 0 Portugal Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
Attendance: 62,955
Referee: Héctor Baldassi (Argentina)
Villa Goal 63′ Report


The three quarter-finals between European and South American teams all resulted in wins for Europeans. Germany had a 4–0 victory over Argentina, Netherlands came from behind to beat Brazil 2–1 (this represented Brazil’s first defeat in a World Cup finals game played outside Europe since 1950), while Spain reached the final four for the first time since 1950 after a 1–0 win over Paraguay. Uruguay, the only South American team to reach the semi-finals, overcame Ghana in a penalty shoot-out after a 1–1 draw in which Ghana missed a penalty at the end of extra time.

2 July 2010
Netherlands 2 – 1 Brazil Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Attendance: 40,186
Referee: Yuichi Nishimura (Japan)
Sneijder Goal 53′, 68′ Report Robinho Goal 10′

2 July 2010
Uruguay 1 – 1 (a.e.t.) Ghana Soccer City, Johannesburg
Attendance: 84,017
Referee: Olegário Benquerença (Portugal)
Forlán Goal 55′ Report Muntari Goal 45+2′
Forlán Scored
Victorino Scored
Scotti Scored
Pereira Missed
Abreu Scored
4 – 2 Scored Gyan
Scored Appiah
Missed (saved) Mensah
Missed (saved) Adiyiah

3 July 2010
Argentina 0 – 4 Germany Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
Attendance: 64,100
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan)
Report Müller Goal 3′
Klose Goal 68′, 89′
Friedrich Goal 74′

3 July 2010
Paraguay 0 – 1 Spain Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg
Attendance: 55,359
Referee: Carlos Batres (Guatemala)
Report Villa Goal 83′


The Netherlands qualified for the final for the third time with a 3–2 win over Uruguay. Spain reached its first ever final with a 1–0 victory over Germany.

6 July 2010
Uruguay 2 – 3 Netherlands Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
Attendance: 62,479
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan)
Forlán Goal 41′
M. Pereira Goal 90+2′
Report Van Bronckhorst Goal 18′
Sneijder Goal 70′
Robben Goal 73′

7 July 2010
Germany 0 – 1 Spain Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban
Attendance: 60,960
Referee: Viktor Kassai (Hungary)
Report Puyol Goal 73′

Third-place play-off

10 July 2010
Uruguay 2 – 3 Germany Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Attendance: 36,254
Referee: Benito Archundia (Mexico)[62]
Cavani Goal 28′
Forlán Goal 51′
Report Müller Goal 19′
Jansen Goal 56′
Khedira Goal 82′


The final was held on 11 July 2010 at Soccer City, Johannesburg. Spain defeated the Netherlands 1–0, with an extra time goal by Andrés Iniesta.[63] The win gave Spain their first World Cup title.[64] This made them the first new winner without home advantage since Brazil in 1958.[65]

The match was affected by a large number of fouls, particularly from the Netherlands.[64] Fourteen yellow cards were given, the highest number in a World Cup Final, and John Heitinga of the Netherlands was sent off for receiving a second yellow card. The Netherlands had chances to score, most notably in the 60th minute when Arjen Robben was released by Wesley Sneijder to be one-on-one with Spain’s goalkeeper Iker Casillas, only for Casillas to save the shot with an outstretched leg. For Spain, Sergio Ramos missed a free header from a corner kick when he was unmarked.[66] Iniesta finally broke the deadlock in extra time, scoring a half-volleyed shot from a pass by Cesc Fabregas.[67]

A closing ceremony was held before the final, featuring singer Shakira. Afterwards, the former South African President Nelson Mandela made a brief appearance on the pitch, wheeled in by a motorcart.[68]

11 July 2010
Netherlands 0 – 1 (a.e.t.) Spain Soccer City, Johannesburg
Attendance: 84,490
Referee: Howard Webb (England)[62]
Report Iniesta Goal 116′



South African winger Siphiwe Tshabalala was the first player to score a goal in the competition, in their 1–1 draw against Mexico, the opening game of the tournament. Danish defender Daniel Agger was credited with the first own goal of the tournament, in his side’s 2–0 loss to the Netherlands. Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuaín was the first player to score a hat-trick in the tournament, in Argentina’s 4–1 win over South Korea. It was the 49th World Cup hat-trick in the history of the tournament.

The four top scorers in the tournament had five goals each. The Golden Boot went to Thomas Müller of Germany who had three assists, compared to one for the three others. The Silver boot to David Villa of Spain, who played a total of 635 minutes; the Bronze boot to Wesley Sneijder of the Netherlands, who played 652 minutes. Diego Forlán of Uruguay had five goals and one assist in 654 minutes. A further three players scored four goals.[69]


Main article: 2010 FIFA World Cup disciplinary record

28 players were suspended after being shown two consecutive yellow cards (13 players), a single red card (8 players), or a yellow card followed by a red card (7 players).


  • Golden Ball: Uruguay Diego Forlán (Uruguay)
  • Golden Boot: Germany Thomas Müller (Germany)
  • Golden Glove: Spain Iker Casillas (Spain)
  • Best Young Player: Germany Thomas Müller (Germany)
  • FIFA Fair Play Trophy: Spain

All-star team

The All-star team is a squad consisting of the 23 most impressive players at the 2010 World Cup, as selected by FIFA’s Technical Study Group. The team was chosen from a shortlist of over 50 players, and was selected based on performances from the second round onwards.



Zakumi, the mascot of the 2010 FIFA World Cup

The official mascot for the 2010 World Cup is Zakumi, an anthropomorphised leopard with green hair, presented on 22 September 2008. His name comes from “ZA” (the international abbreviation for South Africa) and the term kumi, which means “ten” in various African languages.[70] The mascot’s colours reflect those of the host nation’s playing strip – yellow and green.

Official song

The official song of the 2010 World Cup “Waka Waka” is performed by the Colombian singer Shakira and the band Freshlyground from South Africa, and is sung in both English and Spanish.[71] The song is based upon a traditional African soldiers’ song named Zangalewa.[72] Shakira and Freshlyground performed the song at the pre-tournament Kick-Off concert in Soweto on 10 June. It was also sung at the opening ceremony on 11 June and at the closing ceremony on 11 July.

Match ball

Adidas Jo’bulani, the final-match ball

The match ball for the 2010 World Cup, manufactured by Adidas, is named the Jabulani, which means “bringing joy to everyone” in Zulu. It is the eleventh World Cup match ball made by the German sports equipment maker; it features eleven colours, representing each player of a team on the pitch and the eleven official languages of South Africa.[73][74] A special match ball with gold panels, called the Jo’bulani, was used at the final in Johannesburg.

The ball is constructed using a new design, consisting of eight thermally bonded, three-dimensional panels. These are spherically moulded from ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) and thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU). The surface of the ball is textured with grooves, a technology developed by Adidas called GripnGroove[75] that is intended to improve the ball’s aerodynamics. The design has received considerable academic input, being developed in partnership with researchers from Loughborough University, United Kingdom.[76] The balls are made in China, using latex bladders made in India, thermoplastic polyurethane-elastomer from Taiwan, ethylene vinyl acetate, isotropic polyester/cotton fabric, and glue and ink from China.[77]

Some football stars have complained about the new ball, arguing that its movements are difficult to predict.[78] Brazilian goalie Júlio César compared it to a “supermarket” ball that favored strikers and worked against goalkeepers.[79] Argentinian coach Diego Maradona said “We won’t see any long passes in this world cup because the ball doesn’t fly straight.”[80] However, a number of Adidas-sponsored players have responded favourably to the ball.


A man sounding a vuvuzela

The 2010 finals have amplified international public awareness of the vuvuzela, a long horn blown by fans throughout matches. Many World Cup competitors have criticised and complained about the noise caused by the vuvuzela horns, including France’s Patrice Evra, who blamed the horns for the team’s poor performance.[89] Other critics include Lionel Messi, who has complained that the sound of the vuvuzelas hampers communication among players on the pitch,[90] and broadcasting companies, which complained that commentators’ voices were being drowned out by the sound.[91]

Others watching on television have complained that the ambient audio feed from the stadium only contains the sounds of the vuvuzelas and the natural sounds of people in the stands are drowned out. A spokesperson for ESPN and other networks said that they were taking steps to minimize the ambient noise on their broadcasts.[94] The BBC also investigated the possibility of offering broadcasts without vuvuzela noise.[95]

Event effects


Tournament organiser Danny Jordaan dismissed concerns that the attack on the Togo national team which took place in Angola in January 2010, had any relevance to the security arrangements for the World Cup.[96] There were also reports of thefts against visitors to the country for the World Cup. Tourists from China, Portugal, Spain, South Korea, Japan and Colombia had become victims of crime.[97] On 19 June after the match between England and Algeria a fan was able to break through the FIFA-appointed security staff at Green Point stadium and gain access to the England team dressing room. The breach took place shortly after Prince William and Prince Harry had left the room. The trespasser was then released before he could be handed over to the Police. The English FA lodged a formal complaint with FIFA and demanded that security be increased.[98]

Resettlement and eviction

Police patrol Blikkiesdorp, a settlement for the evicted.

As with many ‘hallmark events’ throughout the world,[99] the 2010 FIFA World Cup has been connected to evictions, which many claim are meant to ‘beautify the city’, impress visiting tourists, and hide shackdwellers. On 14 May 2009, the Durban-based shack-dwellers’ movement Abahlali baseMjondolo took the KwaZulu-Natal government to court over their controversial Elimination and Prevention of Re-Emergence of Slums Act, meant to eliminate slums in South Africa and put homeless shackdwellers in transit camps in time for the 2010 World Cup.

Another prominent controversy surrounding preparations for the World Cup is the N2 Gateway housing project in Cape Town, which plans to remove over 20,000 residents from the Joe Slovo Informal Settlement along the busy N2 Freeway and build rental flats and bond-houses in its place in time for the 2010 World Cup.[107] NGOs, international human rights organisations, and the Anti-Eviction Campaign have publicly criticised the conditions in Blikkiesdorp and how they say it is used to reinforce the eviction of poor families especially to make way for the 2010 World Cup.


Some groups have experienced complications in regards to scheduled sporting events, advertising, or broadcasting, as FIFA attempted to maximize control of media rights during the Cup. Affected parties included an international rugby test, a South African airline, and some TV networks, all of whom were involved in various legal struggles with World Cup organizers.

During the tournament, group ticket-holders who did not utilise all their allotted tickets led to some early-round matches having as many as 11,000 unoccupied seats.



The 2010 FIFA World Cup was expected to be the most-watched television event in history. Hundreds of broadcasters, representing about 70 countries, transmitted the Cup to a TV audience that FIFA officials expect to exceed a cumulative 26 billion people, an average of approximately 400 million viewers per match. FIFA estimated that around 700 million viewers would watch the World Cup final.

New forms of digital media have also allowed viewers to watch coverage through alternative means. “With games airing live on cell phones and computers, the World Cup will get more online coverage than any major sporting event yet,” said Jake Coyle of the Associated Press.[117]

In the United States, average ratings for the ESPN English-language broadcasts are up 58% from 2006. The ratings for matches not involving the United States team represent a 28% increase. Spanish-language broadcasts on Univision have increased 9% in viewership, and for the first time full radio coverage of the majority of matches was carried by ESPN Radio nationwide. An executive of the Nielsen Company, a leading audience research firm in the US, described the aggregate numbers for both networks’ coverage of the USA-Ghana match as “phenomenal.”[118]


Sony technology was used to film the tournament. According to FIFA, up to 25 of the matches would be captured using 3D cameras.[119] Footage was captured in 3D through Sony’s proprietary multi-image MPE-200 processors, housed in specially designed 3D outside broadcast trucks.[120] It supplied its flagship HDC-1500 cameras as well as its new HDC-P1 unit, a compact, point-of-view (POV)-type camera with 3, 2/3-inch CCD sensors.[121] The 3D games were produced for FIFA by Host Broadcast Services.[122]

Video games

In PlayStation Home, Sony Group has released a virtual space based on the 2010 FIFA World Cup in the Japanese version of Home on 3 December 2009. This virtual space is called the “FevaArena” and is a virtual stadium of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, featuring different areas for events, a FIFA mini-game, and a shop with FIFA related content.[123]

On 27 April 2010, EA Sports released the official 2010 World Cup video game.[124]

FIFA Fan Fest

FIFA expanded the FIFA Fan Fest, hosting in Sydney, Berlin, Paris, Rome, Rio de Janeiro and Mexico City, as well as several venues around South Africa.

See also FIFA World Cup 2014…

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