The Charleston Massacre: Father, Forgive!

first_imgHow does a young man of only 21 choose to live in the distant, miserable past? The very symbols he wore—the swastika of then Nazi Germany, the flag of then apartheid South Africa and the flag of then white supremacist Southern Rhodesia—are all dismal symbols of the rejected, distant past. Does this young man not know that Adolf Hitler, who started Nazi Germany and preached white supremacy (the master race), facing colossal and shameful defeat and failure in his racist enterprise, committed suicide in 1945?Did not Dylann Roof, the 21 year-old white supremacist who shot and killed nine innocent people praying in the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC, also ever hear of how another white supremacist, Ian Smith, who in 1964 declared “unilateral declaration of independence” (UDI) for racist Southern Rhodesia, died? Yes, it was Ian Smith who in 1964 declared, “Not in a thousand years would blacks be ready to lead Southern Rhodesia.” Well, let us tell young Dylann, quoting the immortal words of the great Scottish poet, Sir Walter Scott, that racist Prime Minister Ian Smith, “[forfeited] fair renown, And, doubly dying, [went] down To the vile dust from whence he sprung, Unwept, unhonored, and unsung.” Doesn’t young Dylann know, too, that Zimbabwe was liberated from white supremacy in 1980, 14 years before he was even yet born, and that the very year of Dylann’s birth, 1994, Nelson Mandela, freed from racist apartheid’s 27-year imprisonment, was elected and became South Africa’s first black President?But achieving the presidency was not Mandela’s chief legacy. Far more important, President Mandela, the man who among all the world’s politicians, past and present, comes closest to Jesus Christ, yes, President Mandela FORGAVE the white racists who imprisoned him for so long and subjugated and murdered tens of thousands of his people.This young man, Dylann, has also forgotten—or was he ever taught?—that the scores of African Americans who gallantly fought for the rights of blacks, whites and all other peoples in the great America, a symbol of whom God placed President Barrack Obama in the White House, yes, these great African American heroes are now numbered in America and the world’s Hall of Fame. Among them are Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Thurgood Marshall,Maynard Jackson, Malcolm X, Mohammed Ali and Martin Luther King. Surely, the schools of South Carolina must have taught young Dyland all these lessons—lessons which perhaps he bitterly detested and rejected.And where are the likes of Orval Faubus, Lester Maddox, George Wallace and so many other rabid (extreme) racists and all the slave masters of the American South who dehumanized, brutalized and exploited Africa’s African American forebears? These rabid racists are not only gone, but forgotten, remembered only by the despicable, inglorious and notorious place they carved for themselves in history.That is the ignominy (dishonor, shame) by which you, Dylann Roof, have carved your place in history; and not you only, but your parents who fatefully presented you, on your 21st birthday, the deadly weapon you used to massacre all those innocent people who were gathered in God’s house, sending up praises and prayers to God. But ah! Your parents need not suffer that dreadful fate. The members of Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston have already done what Jesus taught them to do: love and forgive their enemies. The AME parishioners have also, believe it or not, in that court room last Friday, forgiven you, too, Dylann! And that is now their new song—a song of hope, enshrined in the immortal freedom anthem, “We Shall Overcome Some Day.”Yes, they have already overcome. Obama is in the White House, twice elected by the American people! And not only that—he has performed brilliantly and turned completely around the once dreary and miserable economy which he inherited from President George W. Bush.And believe it, Dylan, Obama is only a pacesetter. There will be many more people of color to come, elected Presidents of the United States! All we have to do, as we did for Obama, is to wait on God’s time, and work faithfully and relentlessly toward that day when, to quote Dr. King, all God’s children, black, white, yellow and green, will joyfully sing, “Free at last, free at last, Thank God Almighty, We’re free at last!” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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UPDATE – RCMP search for Grande Prairie missing teen

first_imgPhoto:  Grande Prairie RCMP have released this photo of Gabriela Cervantes – Submitted If you know any information about the disappearance of Gabriela Cervantes,  please call Grande Prairie RCMP Detachment at (780)830-5700, or if you wish to remain anonymous you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), or online at http://www.tipsubmit.ca – Advertisement -**UPDATE:  The Grande Prairie RCMP say that Gabriela Cervantes was located Tuesday night by Desmarais RCMP. There is nothing suspicious nor criminal regarding her absence and police have concluded their investigation.center_img Grande Prairie RCMP is seeking the public’s assistance in locating 15 year old Gabriela Cervantes who has been missing since July 23rd.Cervantes, a resident of Grande Prairie, was last seen taking the #6 City of Grande Prairie transit bus to the Cineplex Movie Theatre located at 10330 109 Street at 5:45 p.m. on July 23rd.  Cervantes was reportedly going to see a movie with a female friend she knows from school.  Her mother reported her missing on Saturday July 24th, after she didn’t return home from the movie theatre by 10:00 p.m. on the 23rd.Gabriela Cervantes is described as 160 cm (5’3″), 52 kg (115 lbs), black hair and brown eyes.  When last seen she was wearing grey shorts with vertical black stripes, a black tank top and carrying a small light green purse.Advertisementlast_img read more

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Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Dorus de Vries on verge of completing Celtic switch

first_imgNottingham Forest goalkeeper Dorus de Vries has arrived in Glasgow as he looks to complete a move to Celtic.De Vries was pictured entering Ross Hall Hospital ahead of a medical after the Hoops agreed terms with the Championship club. Parkhead boss Brendan Rodgers is on the look-out for an experienced stopper to challenge current number one Craig Gordon.Inexperienced Italian Leonardo Fasan is acting as the Scotland international’s back-up at present, with Belgian Logan Bailly looking at a long-term stint on the sidelines after injuring his ankle in pre-season.But Rodgers has trust in 35-year-old de Vries having worked with the Dutchman during their spell together at Swansea. He made 51 appearances for the Swans as they won promotion to the Premier League under Rodgers in 2011.He quit the Welsh outfit that summer to join Wolves and has been at the City Ground since 2013. He also has experience of playing in Scotland after spending a season with Dunfermline after signing back in 2006.His East End Park stay ended in disappointment, however, as the Pars suffered the double agony of being relegated from the top-flight before losing out to Celtic in the final of the Scottish Cup.The 6ft 1ins keeper has just one year left on his Forest contract and it has been reported Celtic will only have to pay a nominal fee to land his signature. Dorus de Vries 1last_img read more

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Silver Tassie Charity Golf event raises €1,500 for North-West Breast Care Unit

first_imgCHARITY: Management at The Silver Tassie Hotel have expressed a sincere thank you to all involved in last weeks Annual Charity Golf Event at Letterkenny Golf Club.  A special thank you those who attended the prize giving, please see winners listed below.Thanks to everyone who supported this annual event an amazing €1,500 was raised for the Letterkenny North West Breast Care Unit. Prizewinners1st Place – Ronan McClaffery – 2 Nights BB\Dinner & Green Fees At The Slieve Russell Hotel & Country Club2nd Place – Eddie Margey – Overnight with green fees in Ashford Castle3rd Place – Eamon McGlinchey – Golf Break At Westgrove Hotel Gents Best Drive  Winner –  Eugene O’DonnellLadies Best Drive  Winner – Celine BradleyGents Nearest Pin Winner – Michael McElhinneyLadies Nearest Pin Winner –Marion O SullivanSilver Tassie Charity Golf event raises €1,500 for North-West Breast Care Unit was last modified: August 1st, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:charityEventnewsThe Silver Tassie Hotellast_img read more

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GAA: NAOMH ULTAN GAA CLUB NEWS

first_imgRoyal Flush Draw –Royal Flush Draw results for the weekend of 10/03/2013 were 5, 15, 19 & 23. There was no winner of the jackpot of €860. Consolation prizes went to Eilish McNern, Drew Cassidy & Manus Boyle, Darney.  25 Card Drive –The 25 card drive continues Wednesday nights. It commences at it’s usual time of 8:30pm. Membership – Membership for the oncoming year can be paid now. Please note how important membership is, it’s values were shown last year during the scramble for All-Ireland Tickets. €30 – General Membership, €50 – Senior/Reserve, €30 – Student/Unemployed, €20 – Minor, €15 – U16’s to U10’s and €70 – Family Membership. It also is extremely important that Player Membership is paid by Monday March 25th, as all players must be individually registered to headquarters in Croke Park. It cannot be stressed enough how important it is for membership to be paid in time. With the first round of the Ulster Championship coming up in June, and it looking as if the fixture will be held in MacCumhaill Park, Ballybofey, meaning tickets will be very scarce due to capacity. Therefore anyone who hasn’t their membership paid by the date above will not be considered for the ticket. 5km Fun Run/Walk –Donegal GAA Fund Raiser Fun Run & Walk Day Saturday 6th April, sponsorship cards available from Stephanie Kyles (0876307570). Club Donegal –Club Donegal membership is now available for the oncoming year, contact Margaret McNicholas (0863774771) if interested.GAA: NAOMH ULTAN GAA CLUB NEWS was last modified: March 19th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:GAA: NAOMH ULTAN GAA CLUB NEWSlast_img read more

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GET IN THE SADDLE FOR THE FINN VALLEY RACES THIS SUNDAY!

first_imgThe Finn Valley Horse and Pony Racing will take place this Sunday, July 1st.Racing will start at 2.30 sharp at Russels field adjacent to the Finn Valley Show in Killygordan. The following are the seven races on the card.Race 1 – 1 Mile openRace 2 – 1 1/2 Mile openRace 3 – 153cm 1 Mile Race 4 – Local PonyRace 5 – 2 Mile 0penRace 6 – 1 1/4 Mile OpenRace 7 – Maiden 2 mileOrganisers are looking forward to a great family day out with refreshments and bookmakers on the course. GET IN THE SADDLE FOR THE FINN VALLEY RACES THIS SUNDAY! was last modified: June 27th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:FINN VALLEY RACESlast_img read more

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DONEGAL’S ROMA McLAUGHLIN SAVOURS REACHING EUROPEAN SEMI-FINAL WITH IRELAND

first_imgRoma McLaughlinIreland Women’s Under 19’s secured a third straight win in the UEFA European Championships by beating Sweden 2-1 tonight to reach the semi-finals.Known as ‘The History Girls’, they produced another remarkable display at the UKI Arena, Jessheim, Norway thanks to goals from Savannah McCarthy and Megan Connolly to follow up on the wins over Spain and England.Roma McLaughlin, from Greencastle – who is still just 16 and the youngest player in the entire tournament – didn’t play tonight but was cheering on from the sidelines. It wasn’t a great start for Dave Connell’s team as Sweden took the lead after just eight minutes when captain Julia Wahlberg ran onto a through pass and fired in from a tight angle.Typical of this Ireland team though, they set about responding straight away. With Chloe Mustaki leading by example in midfield, the momentum started to swing towards the girls in green.Clever running off the ball from Katie McCabe, Sarah Rowe, and Amy O’Connor pulled Sweden away from their central base, while Grace Wright and Keeva Keenan got forward from full-back.The only thing missing was a measured pass and Connolly provided it on 21 minutes. A free-kick inside her own half didn’t look like being a threat but she picked out McCarthy to head in. Sweden goalkeeper Zecira Musovic couldn’t get to McCarthy’s looping header, but she did well to deny McCabe two minutes later when the Raheny United attacker unleashed a shot at goal.With temperatures soaring at pitch level, referee Zuzana Kovacova called for a cooling break on the half hour but it was more of the same from Ireland once play resumed.A shot from distance from Julia Anna Ekholm tested the alertness of keeper Brooke Dunne, although Connell’s team finished the first half on top. And they set about building on it in the second period.Sweden, who needed a win by a two-goal margin, tried to score again with Ekholm firing at Dunne again, however Ireland’s organisation held their opponents off and they used the ball well.A second goal was next on the wishlist and Connolly supplied it on 80 minutes. After McCabe earned a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area, the Cork native curled in an effort via the underside of the crossbar. Ireland then held on to record a huge win and they will be back in action on Thursday, where they will be prepared to write another chapter in history as the final is only one more game away,REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Dunne; Keenan, O’Connell, McCarthy, Wright; Connolly, Mustaki, Dwyer; Rowe (Shine 58), O’Connor, McCabe (Carson 88).SWEDEN: Musovic; Ekholm, Bjorn, E Karlsson, N Karlsson; Andersson (Angeldal 76), Hurtig, Wahlberg, Curmark (Okvist h-t); Blackstenius, Olme (Jansson 70).REFEREE: Zuzana Kovacova (Slovakia) DONEGAL’S ROMA McLAUGHLIN SAVOURS REACHING EUROPEAN SEMI-FINAL WITH IRELAND was last modified: July 21st, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:GreencastleIrelandroma mclaughlinU19sWomenlast_img read more

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Maranatha faces first test of season in Rio Hondo

first_img No matter what happens, the Minutemen, which cracked the Division XIII rankings at No. 10 last week, have made an incredible turnaround under first year coach Dwayne Cantrell. Allowing an average of 26 points per game, the Minutemen struggled to a 4-6 recorded last year. Through four games this season Maranatha has yielded just 12 points, and is coming off back-to-back shutouts against Flintridge Prep (20-0) and Santa Clara (25-0). Linebackers Nick Soash (20 tackles), Kyle Delahooke (24 tackles) and Trevor Alleman (29 tackles) lead a group that has recovered eight fumbles and has two interceptions. “Defensively, we’re just lighting up people,” Cantrell said. “But to be honest, I really don’t know what to compare this too. “The kids are excited, and they’re developing a winning mentality, which is the most important part of building success. But I’ve been getting warning calls from fellow coaches that we’ve got a lot of tough football games in front of us, so we’re getting ready for it.” That starts with the No. 6-ranked Kares, a Division XIII finalist last year, followed by Delphic League play. Four of the five Delphic League teams are ranked in the Div. XIII top 10. Just how good is the Maranatha High School football team? The answer to that question will come Friday, when the undefeated Minutemen (4-0) play defending Prep League champion Rio Hondo Prep (2-1) at 7 p.m. center_img Last year, Rio Hondo Prep defeated Maranatha soundly, 49-32. “It’s an interesting game for our kids because many of them are in the Kare Youth Program, which is where Rio Hondo Prep gets most of their players,” Cantrell said. “Even my daughter cheers there (Kare Youth), but she’s not allowed to cheer this week. “We know this is going to be our toughest game, and a real measuring stick. I’ve seen them once, and they’re so well coached. And I’m sure our guys remember what they did to us last year, and they remember what a lot of teams did to us last year, so we’ll be ready.” The Kares haven’t played since a 28-27 loss to Arrowhead Christian on Sept. 24, which was their only setback. Otherwise, they’ve been impressive too, notching a 35-6 win over Malibu and a 42-0 win over Western Christian, which earned them a No. 2 ranking before the loss to Arrowhead Christian. “We just had a really bad game the last time out, and sometimes those things happen,” Drain said of the loss. “We had four turnovers, and couldn’t get anything going offensively. So, we’re looking forward to a challenge like this before league starts.” Drain, too, has scouted the Minutemen, and has been impressed with two-year starting quarterback Eric Schultz, who has thrown for 629 yards and seven touchdowns. “Any time you have a returning quarterback, that’s a plus, and he’s such a good one,” Drain said. “He has talented receivers too, but I’ve been real impressed at he runs that offense. “And defensively, what can you say? They’ve been terrific. They should be ranked a lot higher. I know I’ve been ranking them up there, and others should be too.” Marshall Fundamental, which had Friday’s Alpha League opener against L.A. Baptist at Alemany High School postponed because of the fires in the San Fernando Valley, hopes to have that game re-scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 11. The Eagles host Village Christian on Thursday at Muir, and if they play the following Tuesday, would only have three days to prepare for their Oct. 15 Alpha League game against Kilpatrick. “We don’t mind playing three games that close together,” Eagles coach Johnny Lopez said. “We would rather play it now, then have it re-scheduled at the end of the year, especially if a CIF berth was at stake.” Fred J. Robledo can be reached at (626) 962-8811, Ext. 4485, or by e-mail at fred.robledo@sgvn.com. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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2010 Fifa World Cup team statistics

first_imgHost South Africa is among the 32 teamscompeting in the first African World Cup.(Image: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. Formore free photos, visit the image library.)MEDIA CONTACTS • Wolfgang Eichler, Fifa Media Officer+27 11 567 2010 or +27 83 2010 471media-sa@fifa.org• Delia Fischer, Fifa Media Officer+27 11 567 2010 or +27 11 567 2524Argentina, Brazil, Cameroon, Denmark … Get to know the 32 teams competing in South Africa’s 2010 Fifa World Cup: the matches they’ll be playing, their past performances in the tournament, their countries as footballing nations and much more. Algeria Argentina Australia Brazil Cameroon Chile Côte d’Ivoire Denmark England France Germany Ghana Greece Honduras Italy Japan Mexico Netherlands New Zealand Nigeria North Korea Paraguay Portugal Serbia Slovakia Slovenia South Africa South Korea Spain Switzerland Uruguay USA  DOWNLOADSRight-click on the link to save the PDF file to your computer.Download 2010 World Cup teams statistics (6 MB)Download 2010 World Cup match schedule (2.3 MB)Download Fifa Team media officers contacts (157 KB)  ALGERIA (ALG)Algeria: Group C matches England vs USA, 12 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgAlgeria vs Slovenia, 13 June, Peter Mokaba Stadium, PolokwaneSlovenia vs USA, 18 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgEngland vs Algeria, 18 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownSlovenia vs England, 23 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethUSA vs Algeria, 23 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaAlgeria: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1982Previous World Cups: 2Best World Cup progress: Groups stages in 1982, 1986Total World Cup matches: 6World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 2 / 1 / 3Percentage of World Cup match wins: 33%Algeria: Footballing nation Association: Fédération Algérienne de Football Year association founded: 1962Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1964Confederation: Confederation of African Football (CAF)Population: 34-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 1.8-millionFootballers as percentage of population: 5.2%Professional footballers: 300Algeria: Overview Algeria will end a 24-year absence from football’s top table when they kick their first ball at the 2010 Fifa World Cup. This will mark their third appearance at a World Cup and they are looking to graduate from the group stage for the first time ever.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, they shared a 1-1 draw with Northern Ireland before losing 1-0 to Brazil and 3-0 to Spain.They earned a place in this year’s World Cup with a 1-0 victory against African champions Egypt in Khartoum, Sudan. Algeria are in Group C, where they will be up against England, the US and Slovenia.Algeria’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squad BACK TO TOP ARGENTINA (ARG)Argentina: Group B matches Argentina vs Nigeria, 12 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgSouth Korea vs Greece, 12 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethArgentina vs South Korea, 17 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgGreece vs Nigeria, 17 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinNigeria vs South Korea, 22 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanGreece vs Algeria, 22 June, Peter Mokaba Stadium, PolokwaneArgentina: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1930Previous World Cups: 14Best World Cup progress: Winners 1978, 1986Total World Cup matches: 65World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 33 / 13 / 19Percentage of World Cup match wins: 51%Argentina: Footballing nation Association: Asociación del Fútbol Argentino Year association founded: 1893Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1912Confederation: South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL)Population: 41-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 2.7-millionFootballers as percentage of population: 6.5%Professional footballers: 3 530Argentina: Overview Argentina had a difficult qualifying campaign. The two-time world champions started the campaign under leadership of coach Alfio Basile, but a defeat to Chile relegated them to third place. Coaching was then taken over by former player Diego Armando Maradona.After going down Chile, Argentina fell to a humiliating 6-1 loss to Brazil, their second-ever home qualifying loss. They tallied up six defeats in their fight to qualify. They recorded eight wins and four draws before scraping into the World Cup with a 1-0 win over Uruguay.Despite a tortuous qualification campaign, Argentina is travelling to South Africa with serious plans to win 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 Maradona, the country’s most famous footballing son and the guiding hand behind the qualifying triumph.Argentina was drawn in Group B to take on Nigeria, South Korea and Greece.Argentina’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squad BACK TO TOP AUSTRALIA (AUS)Australia: Group D matches Germany vs Australia, 13 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanSerbia vs Ghana, 13 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaGermany vs Serbia, 18 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethGhana vs Australia, 19 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgGhana vs Germany, 23 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgAustralia vs Serbia, 23 June, Mbombela Stadium, NelspruitAustralia: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1974Previous World Cups: 2Best World Cup progress: Round of 16 in 2006Total World Cup matches: 7World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 1 / 2 / 4Percentage of World Cup match wins: 14%Australia: Footballing nation Association: Football Federation Australia Year association founded: 1961Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1963Confederation: Asian Football Confederation (AFC)Population: 21-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 971 000Footballers as percentage of population: 4.6%Professional footballers: 200Australia: Overview Australia has appeared on the world stage just twice, but is now making up for lost time by claiming a second consecutive qualification.After a 32-year absence from the tournament, 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 the team. The current squad, led by Pim Verbeek from the Netherlands, is an experienced group featuring many of the Germany 2006 players.The Australians finished top of their group overcoming some of the best Asian teams to be one of the first nations to book their place in South Africa. They will be playing in Group D against Germany, Serbia and Ghana.Australia squad for the 2010 Fifa World Cup BACK TO TOP BRAZIL (BRA)Brazil: Group G matches Brazil vs North Korea, 15 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgCôte d’Ivoire vs Portugal, 15 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethBrazil vs Côte d’Ivoire, 20 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgPortugal vs North Korea, 21 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownNorth Korea vs Côte d’Ivoire, 25 June, Mbombela Stadium, NelspruitPortugal vs Brazil, 25 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanBrazil: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1930Previous World Cups: 18Best World Cup progress: Winners 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002Total World Cup matches: 92World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 14 / 14 / 14Percentage of World Cup match wins: 70%Brazil: Footballing nation Association: Confederaçao Brasileira de FutebolYear association founded: 1914Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1923Confederation: South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL)Population: 198-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 13.2-millionFootballers as percentage of population: 6.6%Professional footballers: 16 200Brazil: Overview Brazil, the five-time world champions, go into every Fifa World Cup heavily favoured to add yet another star to the legendary yellow and blue jersey. Coach Carlos Dunga will be fully aware that any outcome other than a sixth world crown will likely be considered a failure.In the qualifiers, the Brazillians clinched a South Africa 2010 berth with three match days to spare. Dunga’s team defeated arch-rivals Argentina 3-1 in Rosario to confirm their passage to South Africa.Despite the Brazilian national team position being his first coaching role, Dunga answered those who doubted his credentials by guiding the team to triumph in the 2007 Copa America, the Fifa Confederations Cup South Africa 2009 and to qualifying for South Africa 2010 with room to spare.The triumphant Confederations Cup 2009 campaign cemented Kaká, aka Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, as the man Brazil look to for inspiration. This fact was reflected in him taking the Adidas Golden ball, awarded to the best player of the tournament. Meanwhile, up front, Luis Fabiano proved himself a truly world-class finisher with five goals including a priceless brace in the 3-2 final win over the USA.Brazil have been drawn into a tricky Group G to face Portugal, Côte d’Ivoire and North Korea. As hosts of the 2014 Fifa World Cup, Brazil are keen to take the trophy home to defend it on home turf.Brazil’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP CAMEROON (CMR)Cameroon: Group E matches Netherlands vs Denmark, 14 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgJapan vs Cameroon, 14 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinNetherlands vs Japan, 19 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanCameroon vs Denmark, 19 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaDenmark vs Japan, 24 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgCameroon vs Netherlands, 24 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownCameroon: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1982Previous World Cups: 5Best World Cup progress: Quarter-finalists in 1990Total World Cup matches: 17World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 4 / 7 / 6Percentage of World Cup match wins: 24%Cameroon: Footballing nation Association: Fédération Camerounaise de FootballYear association founded: 1959Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1964Confederation: Confederation of African Football (CAF)Population: 19-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 786 000Footballers as percentage of population: 4.2%Professional footballers: 540Cameroon: Overview Having competed in the World Cup five times and ranked by Fifa as the top African country, Cameroon is a side to be watched in 2010. They are considered the continental-best. No other African side has beaten their historic run to the Italy 1990 quarter-finals.Though their qualification-clinching 2-0 victory in Morocco was straightforward enough, Cameroon had a tough campaign. They were in the bottom of their group after two games before Paul Le Guen replaced Otto Pfister as coach.Under the new leader they completed an impressive turnaround campaign with two victories in four days over contenders Gabon. This was followed by a comprehensive 3-0 defeat of Togo, and Cameroon’s consecutive wins were more than enough to reach South Africa. The Cameroonians will be playing in Group E, taking on the Netherlands, Denmark and Japan.Cameroon will be playing in the World Cup for the sixth time – a new African record.Cameroon’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP CHILE (CHI)Chile: Group H matches Honduras vs Chile, 16 June, Mbombela Stadium, NelspruitSpain vs Switzerland, 16 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanSpain vs Honduras, 21 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgChile vs Switzerland, 21 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethSwitzerland vs Honduras, 25 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinChile vs Spain, 25 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaChile: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1930Previous World Cups: 7Best World Cup progress: Third-place semi-finalists in 1962Total World Cup matches: 25World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 7 / 6 / 12Percentage of World Cup match wins: 28%Chile: Footballing nation Association: Federación de Fútbol de ChileYear association founded: 1895Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1913Confederation: South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL)Population: 17-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 2.6-millionFootballers as percentage of population: 15.7%Professional footballers: 637Chile: OverviewChile last qualified for the Fifa World Cup 12 years ago in France. Coached by the experienced Argentinian Marcelo Bielsa, the Chileans qualified for the finals with some ease, making up for their poor performances in the qualifying competitions for Korea/Japan 2002 and Germany 2006, when they finished ninth and seventh respectively.Bielsa’s side finished second in the continental qualifying group, just one point behind Brazil – their best performance yet. They qualified for the 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa with a spectacular 4-2 win in Colombia.Chile will be taking part in the World Cup finals for the eighth time. They will be playing in Group H against Spain, Switzerland and Honduras.Chile’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP CÔTE D’IVOIRE (CIV)Côte d’Ivoire: Group G matches Brazil vs North Korea, 15 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgCôte d’Ivoire vs Portugal, 15 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethBrazil vs Côte d’Ivoire, 20 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgPortugal vs North Korea, 21 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownNorth Korea vs Côte d’Ivoire, 25 June, Mbombela Stadium, NelspruitPortugal vs Brazil, 25 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanCôte d’Ivoire: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 2006Previous World Cups: 1Best World Cup progress: Group stage in 1962Total World Cup matches: 3World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 1 / 0 / 2Percentage of World Cup match wins: 33%Côte d’Ivoire: Footballing nation Association: Fédération Ivoirienne de FootballYear association founded: 1960Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1964Confederation: Confederation of African Football (CAF)Population: 21-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 802 000Footballers as percentage of population: 3.9%Professional footballers: 100Côte d’Ivoire: OverviewIf an African team is to make a major impact on the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa, Côte d’Ivoire is seen by many as the most likely candidate. Led by coach Vahid Halilhodzic the team cemented their status as one of the continent’s powerhouses when they qualified for 2010 without losing a match.The team feature top-drawer talent such as English Premier League striker Didier Drogba who plays for Chelsea FC and teammate Salomon Kalou – a tough duo up front. Didier Zokora, who plays for Spanish club Sevilla FC , and FC Barcelona’s Yaya Toure are formidable in the midfield. The England-based pair of Arsenal FC player Emmanuel Eboue and Manchester City FC’s Kolo Toure form one of the best defences in Africa.Côte d’Ivoire also have a point to prove after being eliminated in the first round at Germany 2006. With more experience, this team is certain to be a handful in attack. They have been drawn into a tough Group H with Brazil, North Korea and Portugal.Côte d’Ivoire’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP DENMARK (DEN)Denmark: Group E matches Netherlands vs Denmark, 14 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgJapan vs Cameroon, 14 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinNetherlands vs Japan, 19 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanCameroon vs Denmark, 19 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaDenmark vs Japan, 24 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgCameroon vs Netherlands, 24 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownDenmark: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1986Previous World Cups: 3Best World Cup progress: Quarter-finalists in 1988Total World Cup matches: 13World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 7 / 2 / 4Percentage of World Cup match wins: 54%Denmark: Footballing nation Association: Dansk Boldspil-UnionYear association founded: 1889Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1904Confederation: Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)Population: 5-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 511 000Footballers as percentage of population: 9.3%Professional footballers: 852Denmark: OverviewAfter a six-year absence, Denmark is set to explode on the elite world footballing scene. The Fifa founder members blazed an impressive campaign battling against Portugal and Sweden in the European 2010 World Cup qualifying games. They came to top of their group, beating Sweden 1-0 to qualify.Denmark will be looking to extend their creditable record at three previous World Cup appearances, where they reached the second elimination round twice and the quarter-finals on another occasion. In 1986 in Mexico they progressed to the last 16. The core of that team then went on to register the nation’s greatest footballing triumph with the 1992 Union of European Football Associations (Uefa) European Championship crown in neighbouring Sweden.The Uefa European Football Championship is the main football competition of the men’s national football teams governed by Uefa. It has been held every four years since 1960. After winning the Uefa European Championships, the team went on to win the Fifa Confederations Cup in 1995.South Africa will be Denmark’s fourth appearance at the Fifa World Cup. They will be playing in Group E with the Netherlands, Japan, and Cameroon.Denmark’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP ENGLAND (ENG)England: Group C matches England vs USA, 12 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgAlgeria vs Slovenia, 13 June, Peter Mokaba Stadium, PolokwaneSlovenia vs USA, 18 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgEngland vs Algeria, 18 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownSlovenia vs England, 23 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethUSA vs Algeria, 23 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaEngland: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1950Previous World Cups: 12Best World Cup progress: Winners in 1966Total World Cup matches: 55World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 25 / 17 / 13Percentage of World Cup match wins: 46%England: Footballing nation Association: The Football AssociationYear association founded: 1863Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1905Confederation: Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)Population: 61-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 4.2-millionFootballers as percentage of population: 6.8%Professional footballers: 6 100England: OverviewEngland swept into the finals with a 5-1 defeat of Croatia, making it their eighth victory in eight Group 6 matches. Coach Fabio Capello’s side ensured their progress to the finals with two matches to spare.England captain John Terry said: “When we play like that, pressing and working the ball, we’re a difficult opposition for any side. Don’t forget, it’s taken a year for us to get this good, and we’ve got a way to go to get to where we ultimately want to be. But we’re on track.”Dubbed English football’s golden generation, South Africa 2010 may be the last chance at international silverware for some of the most well-known faces in the game. The team fell short at the Uefa Euro 2004 and the 2006 Fifa World Cup Germany.England has appeared at 11 previous editions of the global showpiece, debuting at Brazil 1950.They were the winners on home soil in 1966, and displayed their best performance outside their own shores in Italy 1990, when they reached the last four. They were defeated in penalties by eventual winners West Germany.The team are in Group C where they where they will play against the US, Algeria and Slovenia.England’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squad BACK TO TOP FRANCE (FRA)France: Group A matches South Africa vs Mexico, 11 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgUruguay vs France, 11 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownSouth Africa vs Uruguay, 16 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaFrance vs Mexico, 17 June, Peter Mokaba Stadium, PolokwaneMexico vs Uruguay, 22 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgFrance vs South Africa, 22 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinFrance: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1930Previous World Cups: 12Best World Cup progress: Winners in 1998Total World Cup matches: 51World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 25 / 10 / 16Percentage of World Cup match wins: 51%France: Footballing nation Association: Fédération Française de FootballYear association founded: 1919Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1904Confederation: Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)Population: 62-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 4.2-millionFootballers as percentage of population: 6.7%Professional footballers: 1 825France: OverviewFrance had one of the most controversial qualification games. They finished a point behind Serbia in group seven and were paired with the Republic of Ireland in the play-offs. Led by coach Raymond Domenech they played to a 1-0 win in Ireland.This was followed by a game of huge controversy. In the playoff game Ireland captain Robbie Keane scored a goal that levelled the tie at 1-1 on aggregate, leading to extra-time. William Gallas scored the disputed winning goal for France, which came from a handball pass from captain Thierry Henry.The French are in Group A where they will play against South Africa, Mexico and Uruguay.France won the World Cup as the host nation in 1998, and the European Football Championship in 1984 and in 2000. They also won the Fifa Confederations Cup in 2001 and 2003. Despite a drop in standards in 2002 and 2006, France still came agonisingly close to winning the World Cup title again in Germany 2006, losing out on penalties to Italy in the final.France’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP GERMANY (GER)Germany: Group D matches Germany vs Australia, 13 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanSerbia vs Ghana, 13 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaGermany vs Serbia, 18 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethGhana vs Australia, 19 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgGhana vs Germany, 23 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgAustralia vs Serbia, 23 June, Mbombela Stadium, NelspruitGermany: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1934Previous World Cups: 16Best World Cup progress: Winners in 1954, 1974, 1990Total World Cup matches: 92World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 55 / 19 / 18Percentage of World Cup match wins: 60%Germany: Footballing nation Association: Deutscher Fussball-BundYear association founded: 1900Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1904Confederation: Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)Population: 82-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 16.3-millionFootballers as percentage of population: 19.8%Professional footballers: 864Germany: OverviewThree-time Fifa World Cup winners Germany have not missed a World Cup since 1950 and that record was extended as they booked their place to South Africa with a 1-0 win over group rivals Russia.“We’ve been very successful in the past, and that’s an inspiration to the next generations,” said German fullback Philip Lahm.“You only have to look at Germany’s record at major tournaments. We won the World Cup in 1954, 1974 and 1990, and the European Championship in 1972, 1980 and 1996.“We’re definitely among a group of countries with a chance of taking the trophy. We were third at the World Cup and second at the Euro, so our goal for 2010 is to make the final and win the trophy.”The 2006 Fifa World Cup hosts were drawn into Group D with Ghana, Serbia and Australia.Germany’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP GHANA (GHA)Ghana: Group D matches Germany vs Australia, 13 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanSerbia vs Ghana, 13 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaGermany vs Serbia, 18 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethGhana vs Australia, 19 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgGhana vs Germany, 23 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgAustralia vs Serbia, 23 June, Mbombela Stadium, NelspruitGhana: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 2006Previous World Cups: 1Best World Cup progress: Round of 16 in 2006Total World Cup matches: 4World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 2 / 0 / 2Percentage of World Cup match wins: 50%Ghana: Footballing nation Association: Ghana Football AssociationYear association founded: 1957Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1958Confederation: Confederation of African Football (CAF)Population: 24-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 987 000Footballers as percentage of population: 4.1%Professional footballers: 0Ghana: OverviewGhana was the first African team to reach the 2010 World Cup from the qualifiers. The only African side to progress past the group stage at the 2006 Fifa World Cup Germany, Ghana is anxious to prove themselves as the cream of the continent.Speaking to Fifa after the 2-0 qualifying game against Sudan, Ghana’s midfielder Michael Essien said: “The people of Ghana wanted us to win and we did not let them down. What a fantastic feeling to be the first African country to qualify for the first World Cup to be staged in Africa.”Though this will be only their second appearance at the World Cup, the Ghanaians have enjoyed considerable success at all levels of international football. They have won four Confederation of African Football Africa Cup of Nations titles, as well as two Fifa U-17 World Cups.In October 2009 they became the first African team to lift the Fifa U-20 World Cup when they beat Brazil on penalties. With added experience since their 2006 adventure, Ghana is set to be a major threat at Africa’s first Fifa World Cup. They will be playing in Group D against Germany, Australia and Serbia.Ghana’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP GREECE (GRE)Greece: Group B matches Argentina vs Nigeria, 12 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgSouth Korea vs Greece, 12 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethArgentina vs South Korea, 17 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgGreece vs Nigeria, 17 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinNigeria vs South Korea, 22 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanGreece vs Algeria, 22 June, Peter Mokaba Stadium, PolokwaneGreece: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1994Previous World Cups: 1Best World Cup progress: Group stage in 1994Total World Cup matches: 3World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 0 / 0 / 3Percentage of World Cup match wins: 0%Greece: Footballing nation Association: Hellenic Football FederationYear association founded: 1926Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1927Confederation: Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)Population: 11-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 761 000Footballers as percentage of population: 7%Professional footballers: 1 818Greece: OverviewThe Uefa Euro 2004 champions, Greece continue to defy the odds to have clinched qualification for only their second Fifa World Cup finals.The road to South Africa was tricky as they had to play European Zone play-offs against Ukraine, opponents who had taken four points from the Greeks in Group 2 qualifications for Germany 2006. This time around, after a 0-0 draw in Athens, Greece grabbed a 1-0 second-leg success in Donetsk.There will be no shortage of experience for the Greeks when they come to South Africa. Chief among their veteran performers are defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos, who has played more qualifying minutes than any other squad member, and former Inter Milan and Benfica midfielder Karagounis.They will also have top European Zone qualifying scorer Theofanis Gekas, and Angelos Charisteas, scorer of the winning goal in the final at Euro 2004.Greece will be looking to advance past the group stages for the first time and surprise the world again, as they did at Euro 2004. They will be playing in Group B against Argentina, Nigeria and South Korea.Greece’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP HONDURAS (HON)Honduras: Group H matches Honduras vs Chile, 16 June, Mbombela Stadium, NelspruitSpain vs Switzerland, 16 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanSpain vs Honduras, 21 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgChile vs Switzerland, 21 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethSwitzerland vs Honduras, 25 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinChile vs Spain, 25 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaHonduras: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1982Previous World Cups: 1Best World Cup progress: Group stage in 1982Total World Cup matches: 3World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 0 / 2 / 1Percentage of World Cup match wins: 0%Honduras: Footballing nation Association: Federación Nacional Autónoma de Fútbol de HondurasYear association founded: 1951Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1951Confederation: Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF)Population: 8-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 421 000Footballers as percentage of population: 5%Professional footballers: 100Honduras: OverviewDespite having just squeezed into qualification, coach Reinaldo Rueda’s team will not be going to South Africa just to make up the numbers. Honduras will be playing in the Fifa World Cup for the second time since 1982.Big-name stars in the the Honduran team include key striker Carlos Pavon, supported by the talented David Suazo, Wilson Palacios, Julio Leon and Amado Guevara. Pavon would love nothing more than to crown his top international career with a goal-laden showing on the biggest stage of all.For Honduras, qualifying for the World Cup had become something of a recurring nightmare. They invariably fell short at key moments, until the arrival of 42-year-old Colombian strategist Rueda. In their road to South Africa, Honduras racked up an eight-game unbeaten home run and bolstered the best defensive record in the section.After their bad luck in Spain in 1982, when they left the competition without a single win, Honduras are determined to put in a better showing in their second World Cup. They will be playing in Group H against Spain, Switzerland and Chile.Honduras’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP ITALY (ITA)Italy: Group F matches Italy vs Paraguay, 14 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownNew Zealand vs Slovakia, 15 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgItaly vs New Zealand, 20 June, Mbombela Stadium, NelspruitSlovakia vs Paraguay, 20 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinSlovakia vs Italy, 24 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgParaguay vs New Zealand, 24 June, Peter Mokaba Stadium, PolokwaneItaly: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1934Previous World Cups: 16Best World Cup progress: Winners in 1934, 1938, 1982, 2006Total World Cup matches: 77World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 44 / 19 / 14Percentage of World Cup match wins: 57%Italy: Footballing nation Association: Federazione Italiana Giuoco CalcioYear association founded: 1898Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1905Confederation: Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)Population: 58-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 5-millionFootballers as percentage of population: 8.6%Professional footballers: 3 541Italy: OverviewThe World Cup defending champions, the Italians will be one of the leading contenders to emerge triumphant at the 2010 Fifa World Cup. Marcello Lippi’s men will be vying to match the performance of their pioneering predecessors in 1934 and 1938 by winning the tournament twice in succession.Italy sealed the chance to defend their world title in South Africa in dramatic fashion, equalising in the last minute in Ireland to snatch a 2-2 draw and top spot in Group 8.After an early exit at the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup, the Italian team will be looking to turn around their misfortune. Under the leadership of 61-year-old coach and master tactician Lippi, the team are working to add a fifth World Cup crown to their rich footballing history.They have been drawn in Group F with Paraguay, New Zealand and Slovakia.Italy’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP JAPAN (JPN)Japan: Group E matches Netherlands vs Denmark, 14 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgJapan vs Cameroon, 14 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinNetherlands vs Japan, 19 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanCameroon vs Denmark, 19 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaDenmark vs Japan, 24 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgCameroon vs Netherlands, 24 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownJapan: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1998Previous World Cups: 3Best World Cup progress: Round of 16 in 2002Total World Cup matches: 10World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 2 / 2 / 6Percentage of World Cup match wins: 20%Japan: Footballing nation Association: Japan Football AssociationYear association founded: 1921Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1929Confederation: Asian Football Confederation (AFC)Population: 127-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 4.8-millionFootballers as percentage of population: 3.8%Professional footballers: 976Japan: OverviewThe co-hosts of the 2002 Fifa World Cup, Japan boast one of the strongest squads in Asian football. Winners of three of the last five editions of the Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup, Japan have high hopes for the 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa.They were the first team to book their place after earning a hard-fought 1-0 victory against Uzbekistan in Tashkent. This will be their fourth appearance at the Fifa World Cup, where they will be playing in Group E against Netherlands, Denmark and Cameroon.The Japanese will be facing their first finals without iconic midfielder Hidetoshi Nakata. The former Roma schemer featured in each of the national side’s games at France 1998, Korea/Japan 2002 and Germany 2006 before hanging up his boots after the latter event, aged just 29.The Japanese hopes rest on players such as playmaker Shunsuke Nakamura, who in the summer 2009 made the switch from Glasgow to La Liga with Espanyol. Another European-based performer is young midfielder Keisuke Honda, at Eredivisie outfit VVV Venlo and like Nakamura a gifted left-footer.Leading from the back is 31-year-old defensive rock and captain Yuji Nakazawa, who with over 90 senior caps to his name is Japan’s third-most capped player of all time.The qualifying round was comfortable for the Japanese. They reached the fourth and final stage of Asian Zone having won four, drawn three and lost just one of their eight matches in Group 1.Japan’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squad BACK TO TOP MEXICO (MEX)Mexico: Group A matches South Africa vs Mexico, 11 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgUruguay vs France, 11 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownSouth Africa vs Uruguay, 16 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaFrance vs Mexico, 17 June, Peter Mokaba Stadium, PolokwaneMexico vs Uruguay, 22 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgFrance vs South Africa, 22 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinMexico: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1930Previous World Cups: 13Best World Cup progress: Quarter-finalists in 1970, 1986Total World Cup matches: 45World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 11 / 12 / 22Percentage of World Cup match wins: 24%Mexico: Footballing nation Association: Federación Mexicana de Fútbol AsociaciónYear association founded: 1927Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1929Confederation: Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF)Population: 111-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 8.5-millionFootballers as percentage of population: 7.6%Professional footballers: 4 593Mexico: OverviewAfter a turbulent couple of years that has seen three coaches come and go and more than 60 players pull on the famous green jersey, Mexico has returned to calmer waters under the steadying influence of Javier Aguirre. The former Atletico Madrid coach has put together a team comprising of bright young talents and established stars, restoring their wavering confidence in the process.After being appointed as coach in the qualifying matches, Aguirre worked a miracle, transforming Mexican fortunes despite kicking off with a 2-1 reverse in El Salvador. Victories over each of their five group rivals then followed, giving them a ticket to the finals with one game to spare. After a draw against Trinidad and Tobago in their final outing, the Mexicans ended the group in second place behind eternal rivals US.Veteran playmaker Cuauhtemoc Blanco is perhaps the player Mexico fans should thank for their side’s turnaround. Lured out of retirement by Aguirre, the talented 36-year-old became the symbol of a revitalised team, helping younger teammates to find their best form.Mexico have been drawn into Group A to face South Africa, Uruguay and 1998 World Cup winners France.Mexico’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP NETHERLANDS (NED)Netherlands: Group E matches Netherlands vs Denmark, 14 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgJapan vs Cameroon, 14 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinNetherlands vs Japan, 19 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanCameroon vs Denmark, 19 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaDenmark vs Japan, 24 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgCameroon vs Netherlands, 24 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownNetherlands: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1934Previous World Cups: 8Best World Cup progress: Runners-up in 1974, 1978Total World Cup matches: 36World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 16 / 10 / 10Percentage of World Cup match wins: 44%Netherlands: Footballing nation Association: Koninklijke Nederlandse VoetbalbondYear association founded: 1889Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1904Confederation: Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)Population: 17-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 1.7-millionFootballers as percentage of population: 10.4%Professional footballers: 1 000Netherlands: OverviewNetherlands have set a high target for their campaign in South Africa, 32 years after their 3-1 extra-time defeat by Argentina in the showpiece game, four years after their 2-1 final loss to West Germany.The Dutch won 2-1 away to Iceland to become the first European side to qualify, having picked up eight wins from eight games.The team has proved to be faultless so far, with the former Feyenoord coach Bert van Marwijk leading his troops to the top of Group 9, where Norway and Scotland were their major rivals.With a rich history in football as well as an outstanding calibre of players, Netherlands want to go all the way to the top. The Oranje have been drawn into Group E with Japan, Denmark and Cameroon.Netherlands’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squad BACK TO TOP NEW ZEALAND (NZL)New Zealand: Group F matches Italy vs Paraguay, 14 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownNew Zealand vs Slovakia, 15 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgItaly vs New Zealand, 20 June, Mbombela Stadium, NelspruitSlovakia vs Paraguay, 20 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinSlovakia vs Italy, 24 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgParaguay vs New Zealand, 24 June, Peter Mokaba Stadium, PolokwaneNew Zealand: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1982Previous World Cups: 1Best World Cup progress: Group stage in 1982Total World Cup matches: 3World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 0 / 0 / 3Percentage of World Cup match wins: 0%New Zealand: Footballing nation Association: New Zealand FootballYear association founded: 1891Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1948Confederation: Oceania Football Confederation (OFC)Population: 5-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 199 000Footballers as percentage of population: 4.3%Professional footballers: 25New Zealand: OverviewThe All Whites, New Zealand make a successive return to the Fifa World Cup after qualifying for Germany in 2006. The team claimed the Oceania crown to earn a trip to the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup, where they showed solid form after a poor opening against European champions Spain.The dramatic 180-minute South Africa 2010 play-off victory against Bahrain united the rugby-mad nation behind the All Whites like never before, resulting in a national record crowd of 35 100 in the capital Wellington for the decisive qualifier.Captain and centre-back Ryan Nelsen is undoubtedly the player with the highest profile and best credantials in the team. The defender has been a regular at Blackburn Rovers for a number of years, the only New Zealander to have played for so long in the English Premier League.At the other end of the pitch, the All Whites have a number of key attacking options led by the prolific Shane Smeltz. Oceania Player of the Year and Australian A-League top-scorer Smeltz has an all-round finishing ability, and is deadly in the air or with his feet.New Zealand have been drawn into Group F to face Slovenia, Paraguay and defending champions Italy.New Zealand’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squad BACK TO TOP NIGERIA (NGA)Nigeria: Group B matches: Argentina vs Nigeria, 12 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgSouth Korea vs Greece, 12 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethArgentina vs South Korea, 17 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgGreece vs Nigeria, 17 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinNigeria vs South Korea, 22 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanGreece vs Algeria, 22 June, Peter Mokaba Stadium, PolokwaneNigeria: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1994Previous World Cups: 3Best World Cup progress: Round of 16 in 1994, 1998Total World Cup matches: 11World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 4 / 1 / 6Percentage of World Cup match wins: 36%Nigeria: Footballing nation Association: Nigeria Football FederationYear association founded: 1945Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1960Confederation: Confederation of African Football (CAF)Population: 149-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 6.7-millionFootballers as percentage of population: 4.5%Professional footballers: 2 440Nigeria: OverviewThe 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa sees the return of the Super Eagles Nigeria, after failing to qualify for Germany 2006. Expectations are high for the team, after the dramatic qualifying match that saw Nigeria beating Kenya 3-2.The Nigerians are expected to outshine their debut performance at USA 1994, where they dismantled eventual semi-finalists Bulgaria 3-0 in their first match before going on to fall 2-1 against Italy in the second round.The Eagles will play Argentina, Korea and Greece in Group B.Nigeria’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP NORTH KOREA (PRK)North Korea: Group G matches Brazil vs North Korea, 15 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgCôte d’Ivoire vs Portugal, 15 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethBrazil vs Côte d’Ivoire, 20 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgPortugal vs North Korea, 21 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownNorth Korea vs Côte d’Ivoire, 25 June, Mbombela Stadium, NelspruitPortugal vs Brazil, 25 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanNorth Korea: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1966Previous World Cups: 1Best World Cup progress: Quarter-finalists in 1966Total World Cup matches: 4World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 1 / 1 / 2Percentage of World Cup match wins: 25%North Korea: Footballing nation Association: DPR Korea Football AssociationYear association founded: 1945Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1958Confederation: Asian Football Confederation (AFC)Population: 23-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 503 000Footballers as percentage of population: 2.2%Professional footballers: 0North Korea: OverviewNorth Korea seemingly came from nowhere to storm into the Asian Zone’s final qualification round, where they defied sizeable odds to take one of the continent’s four automatic spots in the 2010 Fifa World Cup. Nonetheless, North Korea’s qualification campaign took a gruelling 20 months and 16 games.South Africa 2010 will mark North Korea’s second appearance in the Fifa World Cup; their first was in England in 1966.They have been drawn into Group G to face strong opponents Brazil, Portugal and Côte d’Ivoire. This will make it difficult for them to emulate the success of the 1966 North Korea team, which beat Italy 1-0 to reach the quarter-finals.North Korea’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP PARAGUAY (PAR)Paraguay: Group F matches Italy vs Paraguay, 14 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownNew Zealand vs Slovakia, 15 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgItaly vs New Zealand, 20 June, Mbombela Stadium, NelspruitSlovakia vs Paraguay, 20 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinSlovakia vs Italy, 24 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgParaguay vs New Zealand, 24 June, Peter Mokaba Stadium, PolokwaneParaguay: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1930Previous World Cups: 7Best World Cup progress: Round of 16 in 1986, 1998, 2002Total World Cup matches: 22World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 6 / 7 / 9Percentage of World Cup match wins: 27%Paraguay: Footballing nation Association: Asociación Paraguaya de FútbolYear association founded: 1906Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1925Confederation: South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL)Population: 7-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 1-millionFootballers as percentage of population: 14.8%Professional footballers: 590Paraguay: OverviewParaguay will be making their eighth Fifa World Cup appearance in 2010, their fourth in a row. In the qualifying matches they recorded the most wins in the group with 10 wins, three draws and five defeats. They collected 33 points in all to finish third behind the Chileans and Brazil. They confirmed their ticket to the finals in style, with Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo declaring a national holiday for the nation to celebrate.The team’s success at the Fifa World Cup in South Africa rests on the services of several internationally renowned players, most of whom play club football in Mexico and Europe. While the side is sprinkled with proven performers in every area, the Paraguayans’ biggest name can be found up front: Roque Santa Cruz has had several successful seasons in England and is currently playing for Manchester City.Paraguay have been drawn into Group F to face New Zealand, Slovakia and defending champions Italy.Paraguay’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squad BACK TO TOP PORTUGAL (POR)Portugal: Group G matches Brazil vs North Korea, 15 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgCôte d’Ivoire vs Portugal, 15 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethBrazil vs Côte d’Ivoire, 20 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgPortugal vs North Korea, 21 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownNorth Korea vs Côte d’Ivoire, 25 June, Mbombela Stadium, NelspruitPortugal vs Brazil, 25 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanPortugal: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1966Previous World Cups: 4Best World Cup progress: Third-place semi-finalists in 1966, fourth-place semi-finalists in 2006Total World Cup matches: 19World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 11 / 1 / 7Percentage of World Cup match wins: 58%Portugal: Footballing nation Association: Federaçao Portuguesa de FutebolYear association founded: 1914Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1923Confederation: Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)Population: 10-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 548 000Footballers as percentage of population: 5.1%Professional footballers: 1 663Portugal: OverviewIn the qualifying games, Portugal quickly went from being group favourites to standing on the threshold of elimination. With the management of Mozambican-born coach Carlos Queiroz, a former coach for South Africa, and talented players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe and Deco, expectations of the team are high.Portugal were finalists at Uefa Euro 2004 and semi-finalists at Germany 2006, but have never progressed beyond a World Cup semi-final. They have displayed some dazzling football in recent years – without winning a major prize.Portugal reached the finals courtesy of a play-off win over Bosnia-Herzegovina. For 2010 thay have been drawn against Brazil, North Korea and Côte d’Ivoire in Group G. Competition will be tough: five-time winners Brazil are the favourites for the tournament while Côte d’Ivoire boast players of the calibre of Didier Drogba, Yaya and Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Eboue and Salomon Kalou.It is Portugal’s clash with the Ivorians that Ronaldo believes could be crucial, with the two nations’ opening bout in Port Elizabeth.Portugal’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP SERBIA (SRB)Serbia: Group D matches: Germany vs Australia, 13 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanSerbia vs Ghana, 13 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaGermany vs Serbia, 18 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethGhana vs Australia, 19 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgGhana vs Germany, 23 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgAustralia vs Serbia, 23 June, Mbombela Stadium, NelspruitSerbia: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1930 (as Yugoslavia)Previous World Cups: 10Best World Cup progress: Fourth-place semi-finalists in 1930, 1962 as YugoslaviaTotal World Cup matches: 40World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 16 / 8 / 16Percentage of World Cup match wins: 40%Serbia: Footballing nation Association: Football Association of SerbiaYear association founded: 1919Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1923Confederation: Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)Population: 7-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 442 000Footballers as percentage of population: 6%Professional footballers: 1 500Serbia: OverviewSerbia will appear as an independent state for the first time in the 2010 Fifa World Cup. As part of the Yugoslavian side they appeared at nine editions of the competition, and competed as Serbia and Montenegro at Germany 2006.The Serbian national team was previously known as the Yugoslavia national football team from 15 January 1992 until 4 February 2003, and then as the Serbia and Montenegro national football team until 3 June 2006. This was when Serbia declared independence as the successor state to the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro.It was officially renamed the Serbia national football team on 28 June 2006, while the Montenegro national football team was created to represent the new state of Montenegro.Serbia beat Romania 5-0 to earn automatic qualification for the 2010 World Cup as the leaders of European qualifying Group 7. They have been drawn in Group D with Germany, Australia and Ghana.Serbia’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP SLOVAKIA (SVK)Slovakia: Group F matches Italy vs Paraguay, 14 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownNew Zealand vs Slovakia, 15 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgItaly vs New Zealand, 20 June, Mbombela Stadium, NelspruitSlovakia vs Paraguay, 20 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinSlovakia vs Italy, 24 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgParaguay vs New Zealand, 24 June, Peter Mokaba Stadium, PolokwaneSlovakia: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 2010Previous World Cups: 0Best World Cup progress: The former Czechoslovakia played in eight Fifa World Cups and were runners-up in 1934 and 1962Total World Cup matches: –World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: –Percentage of World Cup match wins: –Slovakia: Footballing nation Association: Slovak Football AssociationYear association founded: 1993Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1994Confederation: Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)Population: 5-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 622 000Footballers as percentage of population: 11.4%Professional footballers: 489Slovakia: OverviewLike Serbia, Slovakia will appear in a Fifa World Cup as an independent state for the first time in 2010. After the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, the Slovak Football Association was founded in 1993.While this may be Slovakia’s first appearance on the global stage, the country’s footballing past is tied up with that of the former Czechoslovakia, who participated in eight finals overall. Czechoslovakia reached the final in 1934, losing 2-1 after extra time to Italy, and 1962, when they succumbed 3-1 to Brazil. They also advanced as far as the last eight in 1990.Slovakia clinched qualification with a 1-0 away win against Poland. Currently ranked 34th in the world, they finished as surprise winners at the top of a tricky European qualifying group containing Slovenia, Czech Republic, Poland and Northern Ireland. The Slovakians are in Group F with Italy Paraguay and New Zealand.Slovakia’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squad BACK TO TOP SLOVENIA (SVN)Slovenia: Group C matches England vs USA, 12 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgAlgeria vs Slovenia, 13 June, Peter Mokaba Stadium, PolokwaneSlovenia vs USA, 18 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgEngland vs Algeria, 18 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownSlovenia vs England, 23 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethUSA vs Algeria, 23 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaSlovenia: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 2002Previous World Cups: 1Best World Cup progress: Group stage in 2002Total World Cup matches: 3World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 0 / 0 / 3Percentage of World Cup match wins: 0%Slovenia: Footballing nation Association: Football Association of SloveniaYear association founded: 1991Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1992Confederation: Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)Population: 2-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 117 000Footballers as percentage of population: 5.8%Professional footballers: 284Slovenia: OverviewGiven that they only gained independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, Slovenia’s football history is shorter than the majority of their South Africa 2010 rivals. They can, however, reflect with pride on having qualified for the Fifa World Cup at just the second time of trying. Slovenia played their first match in 1992 after the split of Yugoslavia in 1991.A nation of just 2-million people, Slovenia has done better than expected to secure a place at next year’s World Cup. They knocked out experienced teams such as Poland, Czech Republic and, finally, Russia to take their place in South Africa. Slovenia have been drawn in Group C with England US and Algeria.Slovenia’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP SOUTH AFRICA (RSA)South Africa: Group A matches South Africa vs Mexico, 11 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgUruguay vs France, 11 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownSouth Africa vs Uruguay, 16 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaFrance vs Mexico, 17 June, Peter Mokaba Stadium, PolokwaneMexico vs Uruguay, 22 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgFrance vs South Africa, 22 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinSouth Africa: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1998Previous World Cups: 2Best World Cup progress: Group stage in 1998, 2002Total World Cup matches: 6World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 1 / 3 / 2Percentage of World Cup match wins: 17%South Africa: Footballing nation Association: South African Football AssociationYear association founded: 1991Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1992Confederation: Confederation of African Football (CAF)Population: 49-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 4.5-millionFootballers as percentage of population: 9.3%Professional footballers: 1 000South Africa: OverviewThere is 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 fame and stunned the African continent by claiming their maiden CAF Africa Cup of Nations trophy against Tunisia at Soccer City in Johannesburg. Now, 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.Recent years have brought many disappointments, but Bafana Bafana have also shown that, given motivation and purpose, they can be a potent threat. And there can be no greater motivation than representing their country in a Fifa World Cup on home soil.Their brave 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 reminder to their detractors that the team should not be underestimated.Bafana Bafana boasts the talents of midfield maestro Steven Pienaar who, since his arrival at English Premier League team Everton, has reinvented himself and matured as an all-round player. His performance during the 2009 Confederations Cup were another reminder that he will be key to any South African success in 2010.Now in his second stint as a South Africa coach, Carlos Alberto Parreira has a pedigree for success, having led his native Brazil to win the 1994 Fifa World Cup USA. He brings a wealth of experience, which should be vital in revitalising a South African side struggling with some significant pre-tournament problems.The South Africans have been drawn into Group A to face France, Mexico and Uruguay.South Africa’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squad BACK TO TOP SOUTH KOREA (KOR)South Korea: Group B matches Argentina vs Nigeria, 12 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgSouth Korea vs Greece, 12 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethArgentina vs South Korea, 17 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgGreece vs Nigeria, 17 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinNigeria vs South Korea, 22 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanGreece vs Algeria, 22 June, Peter Mokaba Stadium, PolokwaneSouth Korea: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1954Previous World Cups: 7Best World Cup progress: Fourth-place semi-finalists in 2002Total World Cup matches: 24World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 4 / 7 / 13Percentage of World Cup match wins: 17%South Korea: Footballing nation Association: Korea Football AssociationYear association founded: 1933Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1948Confederation: Asian Football Confederation (AFC)Population: 48-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 1.1-millionFootballers as percentage of population: 2.3%Professional footballers: 550South Korea: OverviewAsia’s most frequent visitors to the Fifa World Cup, South Korea are also the continent’s most successful team at the tournament. They 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 North Korea.The North Koreans proved to be their nemesis again in the final round, holding the Taeguk Warriors to a 1-1 stalemate in Shanghai. But 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.Manchester United’s Park Ji-Sung has played a key role in South Korea’s two previous Fifa World Cup campaigns. The multifunctional winger is now an indispensible member of the team, with his ability to create space and chances for his fellow players.The 2002 Fifa World Cup co-hosts are striving to do better than Germany 2006 where they made an early exit in the group stages. The team has been drawn into Group B against Argentina, Nigeria and Greece.South Korea’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP SPAIN (ESP)Spain: Group H matches Honduras vs Chile, 16 June, Mbombela Stadium, NelspruitSpain vs Switzerland, 16 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanSpain vs Honduras, 21 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgChile vs Switzerland, 21 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethSwitzerland vs Honduras, 25 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinChile vs Spain, 25 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaSpain: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1934Previous World Cups: 12Best World Cup progress: Fourth-place semi-finalists in 1950Total World Cup matches: 49World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 22 / 12 / 15Percentage of World Cup match wins: 45%Spain: Footballing nation Association: Real Federacion Española de FutbolYear association founded: 1909Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1913Confederation: Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)Population: 40-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 2.8-millionFootballers as percentage of population: 7%Professional footballers: 1 331Spain: OverviewSpain, the Uefa Euro 2008 champions, won each of their 10 qualifying games. The team have not rested on the success of their 2008 victory, consistently bringing in new faces without compromising their attractive short-passing football.Maturity, resilience and the ability to overcome adversity were all in evidence during their qualifying campaign. The team boasts the goalkeeping qualities of captain Iker Casillas, who plays in the Spanish La Liga club Real Madrid. The midfield combination of La Liga club Barcelona player Xavi Hernandez and Arsenal player Cesc Fabregas is vital to Spain’s fluid style, while at the sharp end of the attack there can be few if any better finishers than David Villa and Licverpool player Fernando Torres.Spain have never won the Fifa World Cup and hope to take the crown in South Africa 2010. The team have been drawn into Group H to face Honduras, Chile and Switzerland.Spain’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP SWITZERLAND (SUI)Switzerland: Group H matches Honduras vs Chile, 16 June, Mbombela Stadium, NelspruitSpain vs Switzerland, 16 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanSpain vs Honduras, 21 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgChile vs Switzerland, 21 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethSwitzerland vs Honduras, 25 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinChile vs Spain, 25 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaSwitzerland: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1934Previous World Cups: 8Best World Cup progress: Quarter-finalists in 1954Total World Cup matches: 26World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 8 / 5 / 13Percentage of World Cup match wins: 31%Switzerland: Footballing nation Association: Schweizerischer FussballverbandYear association founded: 1895Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1904Confederation: Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)Population: 8-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 571 000Footballers as percentage of population: 7.5%Professional footballers: 550Switzerland: OverviewSwitzerland will be appearing in their ninth Fifa World Cup in 2010. Coach Ottmar Hitzfeld and his men are aiming for more than just a supporting role. Eliminated in the last 16 at Germany 2006, the Swiss worked hard on their way to South Africa. They finished at the top of their group on 21 points, beating Greece by one point in a taxing group.The Swiss reached the quarter-finals in their first two World Cup appearances in 1934 and 1938. The highlight of the 1938 campaign was a 4-2 victory over a Nazi-controlled German team featuring Austrian players after the annexation of the country. When World Cup football resumed in 1950 after a 12-year World War II-enforced hiatus, the Swiss were knocked out at the group stage.The Swiss hosted the tournament in 1954 and again made the quarters with two victories over Italy. The quarter-final match against Austria was the highest-scoring match in World Cup history as Switzerland remarkably threw away a three-goal lead, conceding five in seven first-half minutes to lose 7-5. In the 1962 and 1966 campaigns, the Swiss lost all their games.Switzerland have been drawn into Group H to face Spain, Honduras and Chile.Switzerland’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP URUGUAY (URU)Uruguay: Group A matches South Africa vs Mexico, 11 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgUruguay vs France, 11 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownSouth Africa vs Uruguay, 16 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaFrance vs Mexico, 17 June, Peter Mokaba Stadium, PolokwaneMexico vs Uruguay, 22 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgFrance vs South Africa, 22 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinUruguay: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1930Previous World Cups: 10Best World Cup progress: Winners in 1930Total World Cup matches: 40World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 15 / 10 / 15Percentage of World Cup match wins: 38%Uruguay: Footballing nation Association: Asociación Uruguaya de FútbolYear association founded: 1900Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1923Confederation: South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL)Population: 3-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 241 000Footballers as percentage of population: 6.9%Professional footballers: 1 100Uruguay: OverviewTwo-time world champions Uruguay clinched the 32nd and final place in South Africa with a 2-1 aggregate victory over Costa Rica. Few nations have the footballing history of Uruguay. The country has a population of a little over 3-million yet boasts an impressive collection of world, Olympic and continental titles.Football is the most important sport in Uruguay. They won an Olympic gold medal in 1924 and another one in 1928, which were considered the most important tournaments in football before the World Cup began in 1930. The first World Cup, which Uruguay won, was held in 1930 in Montevideo. Uruguay also won the World Cup in 1950, beating Brazil.Uruguay has made 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 in 1990.Uruguay have been drawn into Group A to face South Africa, Mexico and France.Uruguay’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squad USA (USA)BACK TO TOPUSA: Group C matches England vs USA, 12 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgAlgeria vs Slovenia, 13 June, Peter Mokaba Stadium, PolokwaneSlovenia vs USA, 18 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgEngland vs Algeria, 18 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownSlovenia vs England, 23 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethUSA vs Algeria, 23 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaUSA: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1930Previous World Cups: 8Best World Cup progress: Third-place semi-finalists in 1930Total World Cup matches: 25World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 6 / 3 / 16Percentage of World Cup match wins: 24%USA: Footballing nation Association: US Soccer FederationYear association founded: 1913Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1914Confederation: Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF)Population: 307-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 24.5-millionFootballers as percentage of population: 8%Professional footballers: 1 513USA: OverviewThough football has not traditionally had a high profile in US sporting life, the sport has steadily grown in popularity since the 1970s. Ranked 14th in the world by Fifa, the American team have appeared in the last five World Cups.The US 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 blend of proven internationals and up-and-coming stars will be keen to build on their second-place finish at the Fifa Confederations Cup South Africa 2009.The US has taken part in nine Fifa World Cups, with Mexico the only Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football team involved in more editions of the tournament.The Americans’ best World Cup performance came at Uruguay 1930, when they exited at the semi-final stage. At Germany 2006 they bid farewell to the tournament at the first hurdle. South Africa 2010 will be the Americans’ sixth consecutive appearance. They are in Group C where they will be playing England, Algeria and Slovenia.USA’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squad BACK TO TOPlast_img read more

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Limpopo’s new standards of success

first_imgStanley Mufamadi, MD of Limpopo’s home-grown Vuwa group, says passion, professionalism and expert knowledge are key to building a successful business. From left, the IMC’s Iggy Sathekge, Belu Mdlalo, Miller Matola, Lindiwe Ngcobo, Leo Makgamathe and Dimape Serenyane at the Limpopo summit. (Images: Nicky Rehbock) MEDIA CONTACTS • International Marketing Council +27 11 483 0122RELATED ARTICLES • KZN innovators show how it’s done • South Africa is Africa’s top nation brand • Building a thriving nation brand • Eastern Cape entrepreneurs in the spotlight Nicky RehbockSustaining a successful business through diversification and creativity was the focus of the recent Brand South Africa Stakeholder Summit in Polokwane, Limpopo province.Initiated by the International Marketing Council (IMC) of South Africa and taking place in each of the nine provinces, the summits aim to increase provincial participation in the nation-branding effort and encourage active citizenship – which, in turn, will help position the country as a top investment and tourism destination.Each summit presents South Africans who, through their work and community initiatives, are already active ambassadors for the country. These individuals epitomise the unique characteristics, or pillars, of the South African brand – ubuntu, diversity, sustainability, possibility and innovation.Speaking at the recent summit, IMC CEO Miller Matola said that the branding of South Africa is not a matter of choice but a necessity in every province, requiring the joint efforts of local government, citizens, business, political parties, charities, the media, academia and sporting organisations.Endorsing Limpopo’s role in making South Africa a force to be reckoned with throughout the world, province Premier Cassel Mathale added: “It is the combined behaviour of a country’s people and its attributes that make up a brand or identity. A positive identity – or favourable reputation – promotes global competitiveness.”Mathale noted how the highly successful 2010 Fifa World Cup had, and still is, transforming South Africa’s image, locally and abroad.“The IMC is using that legacy of the World Cup to build a globally competitive brand. They are looking forwards, not backwards,” the premier said.Claiming his spaceAt the forefront of helping breed a successful nation brand is Stanley Mufamadi, MD of Limpopo’s home-grown Vuwa group.Mufamadi said his journey, from working in human resource (HR) management to building a diversified portfolio of thriving business ventures, represents the aspirations of all budding entrepreneurs in the province.“When I came to Limpopo in 1997, there were a lot of opportunities I identified in Polokwane – in HR consulting, in transport and in the tourism and hospitality industry.”“Because it’s always wise to start with an area that you are comfortable with and have expertise in, I made inroads with HR.”Mufamadi set up a company called Vuwa Management Consulting, establishing Vuwa as a brand in itself representing quality, consistency and value.“We chose that name because it’s simple, easy to remember and unique to Limpopo, meaning ‘arise and claim your space’ Tshivenda.”Second was Vuwa Transport Services, which began with just one bus, ferrying workers from Polokwane to a mine site some distance from the city.“The job was done very well – we went from a single bus to operating 12 buses in seven years with no fatalities or accidents. That happened because we had shown commitment to the promise of the Vuwa brand.”From here, Mufamadi branched into tourism with Vuwa Safari and Tours – which now offers a variety of tour packages, overnight accommodation and conference facilities – and a new chain of lodges.“We’ve invested a lot in promoting this branch on radio and in newspapers and we are competing very well at the moment. We’re proud of the space we’re taking in the tourism industry,” he added.Passion, teamwork and strategic investment in operational facilities are among Mufamadi’s secrets of success.“As an emerging operator, you have to invest in communications – you need to be seen, you need to be available and you need to be contactable.“You also need to learn as much as you can about your industry, benchmark against the best and comply with all statutory requirements, especially the South African Revenue Service.”In the Vuwa consulting business, “expert knowledge, competent staff, on-time delivery and quality” are key, Mufamadi said.“The success factors of Vuwa Safari and Tours include strict compliance with road transport regulations, a professional image, participation in international travel tradeshows and expert training.”Central to building the Vuwa brand has been gaining access to financing from the Department of Trade and Industry and the Industrial Development Corporation, among others.“In many instances entrepreneurs battle to access grants and loans because their affairs are not in order – but we can testify that we have received very good support from these institutions.”Next on the horizon for Mufamadi is property development in Limpopo and exploiting opportunities in the local agro-processing industry.  “I want to encourage other entrepreneurs and organisations by telling them that the future looks very, very bright – although there is still a lot of support needed to foster sustainability.“What we need is to see more stock exchange-listed companies that originated in Limpopo – driven by the very people who live here,” he said.last_img read more

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