Blatter thanks President Zuma
© Getty Images

Although there were no matches this Sunday at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, the tournament programme continued apace, with the Football for Hope Festival 2010 kicking off in Alexandra. The focal point of this educational, cultural and footballing celebration is a football tournament involving 32 mixed teams of youngsters from disadvantaged communities all over the world.

The competition, which is being organised jointly by FIFA, streetfootballworld, the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa and the City of Johannesburg, will run until 10 July.

The President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, and FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter were both present to declare the tournament officially open, with Blatter taking the opportunity to thank the South African head of state for his country’s “wonderful cooperation”.

As a mark of his gratitude, Blatter awarded President Zuma with a painting by Romero Britto, the world-famous Brazilian artist, who has expressed his passion and enthusiasm for South Africa 2010 in his own unmistakable style. The work in question was a magnificent and brightly coloured piece named after the tournament itself, South Africa 2010.  

“It is an honour to receive this superb painting,” said President Zuma, “I could not agree more with President Blatter: the cooperation between FIFA and South Africa has been exceptional both before and during this FIFA World Cup.”