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World Cup kicks off in 100 days

REVISED March 4, 2010

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (BP)–In just 100 days, soccer fans from around the world will converge on 10 South African venues to watch 32 nations battle for the prestigious World Cup.

Up to 500,000 international visitors are expected for the month-long competition, which begins June 11. This is the first World Cup to be hosted by an African nation.

The United States will open play against England on June 12 after qualifying for the World Cup tournament by defeating Honduras last October. The U.S.-Brit matchup pits two teammates from the Los Angeles Galaxy against each other — midfielders David Beckham for England and Landon Donovan for the United States. The Americans also are slated to play Algeria and Slovenia in the first round of matches.

South Africa will compete against Mexico in the opening match June 11 in Soccer City stadium, located in the Soweto township on the outskirts of Johannesburg.

Favorites to win this World Cup include Spain, Brazil, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Argentina and England.

A website affiliated with Southern Baptists’ International Mission Board is being designed to provide World Cup updates and profiles of Christian athletes participating in the games, in addition to information on South Africa’s nine host cities for the World Cup and prayer requests for ministry teams and the peoples of Africa. Further details will be released when the website, www.worldcupjourneys.com, goes online.
Charles Braddix is a writer for the International Mission Board.

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  • Charles Braddix