9 September 2009, JOHANNESBURG - The 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa (OC) would like to congratulate the England football team on their qualification for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa next year.
OC CEO Dr Danny Jordaan said England's presence at next year's World Cup would add significantly to the tournament, both on and off the pitch.
"Fabio Capello's side have powered their way to South Africa 2010 and will certainly be a force to be reckoned with next year. They are playing very good football and the team will certainly come to South Africa as one of the tournament's favourites," said Jordaan.
"The English Premier League is one of the best leagues in the world and arguably the most followed globally. All the England players are extremely popular in South Africa and a number of them have visited the country with their club teams and with the national team in recent years," he added.
The United Kingdom trails only host country, South Africa, and the United States in terms of tickets sold for next year's tournament. By the beginning of September, more than 45 000 tickets had been sold to residents from the UK.
"The English fans, who are among the most passionate and knowledgeable in the world, are no strangers to our shores, regularly travelling to England cricket, rugby and football matches in South Africa. We are sure the English team and their fans will enjoy their time in our country and contribute tremendously to what is sure to be a carnival atmosphere at Africa's first FIFA World Cup. We wish England well in next year's tournament."
The Three Lions are ranked number six in the world and qualified for 2010 when they beat Croatia 5-1 at Wembley on Wednesday night. They have maintained their 100 per cent qualifying record and secure top spot in Group 6, joining the Netherlands as the second European team to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
England has made 11 World Cup appearances and has won the title once in 1966 playing on home soil. Since the glory of 1966, however, the furthest they have travelled in the competition was to the semi-finals in 1990, where they lost on penalties to West Germany.
Issued by the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa (OC) Communications Division
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