Fifa World Cup
The Fifa World Cup 2014 will be taking place at a number of venues throughout South Africa. A total of five new stadia have been built for the event, and five have been upgraded. Improvements to the public transport infrastructure in the host cities are also planned.
In Cape Town the new Green Point stadium has a spectacular backdrop of mountains and oceans. In Durban, the brand new stadium boasts two archways that arc 100 metres above the roof. The Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein will have a seating capacity of 48,070 while the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, set on the shores of North End Lake in Port Elizabeth, is the first football stadium in the city. There are also dedicated stadia in Polokwane, Pretoria, Nelspruit and Rustenberg.
In Johannesburg there are two stadia, Ellis Park (which dates to 1982) and Soccer City, which is the venue for the finals. For a long time Soccer City was the only stadium in South Africa dedicated to football, so - with its seating capacity of 94,700 - it is a fitting choice for the accolade of the finals.
A total of 200 teams have entered the championships, seeking one of the 31 places in South Africa. The preliminary phase of the championships opened in some parts of the world in 2007, and the qualifying stages are now in full swing. As host nation, South Africa automatically qualifies for the tournament.
Key dates for football fans' calendars are the quarter finals, taking place in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth (2-3 July), the semi-finals, taking place in Cape Town and Durban (6-7 July), the play-off for third and fourth places, in Port Elizabeth (10 July) and the final, in Johannesburg (11 July).