Johannesburg, 19 November - The 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa (OC) would like to congratulate the six teams that qualified last night for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, filling the last of the 32 positions for the tournament.
They join Nigeria, Cameroon, New Zealand, Japan, Netherlands, North Korea, Australia, South Korea, USA, Brazil, Ghana, England, Paraguay, Spain, Denmark, Cote d’Ivoire, Chile, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Serbia, Switzerland, Argentina, Honduras, Slovakia and hosts South Africa as the teams participating in the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.
Algeria qualified after beating Egypt 1-0, securing the final spot from the six Africa zone positions available for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.
“After a 23-year absence, we welcome Algeria back to the World Cup stage. We look forward to seeing if they can repeat the heroics of their first FIFA World Cup where they claimed a deserved 2-1 victory over eventual finalists West Germany,” said Jordaan.
The Desert Foxes also beat Namibia in September to qualify for the African Nations Cup that will be held in Angola next year, which they have played thirteen times and won once in 1990. They have twice played in the FIFA World Cup – in 1982 and 1986.
France qualified after a 1-1 draw with Ireland.
“It is a pleasure to welcome a former World Cup champion and host to South Africa. As one of the giants of world football, France will definitely attract the attention of the fans and I am certain their matches will be sold out,” said Jordaan.
France have 12 FIFA World Cup appearances under their belt, which include a win in 1998 on home soil, a second place in 2006 and a third place in 1958 and 1986.
Portugal qualified after beating Bosnia-Herzegovina 1-0
“With stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo and the like coming to South Africa, the competition is certainly heating up and it is the fans that will benefit. It is with great pleasure that I welcome the Portuguese to South Africa in 2010 and I am sure the strong Portuguese community in this country is equally pleased. Portugal can be assured that they will be welcomed with open arms when they arrive in South Africa in just under 200 days time,” said Jordaan.
Portugal has made four FIFA World Cup appearances in their history with a best place of third during the 1966 FIFA World Cup in England.
Slovenia qualified after beating Russia 1-0.
“With one World Cup already under their belt Slovenia have proved their worth and are a welcome addition to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. We look forward to seeing them in action next year,” said Jordaan.
Slovenia has participated in international competition after gaining independence following the break-up of Yugoslavia in 1991. After missing out on a place at France 1998, they qualified for the FIFA World Cup™ finals at the second attempt for the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea/Japan.
Greece qualified after beating Ukraine 1-0.
“We have seen what Greece can do in major football tournaments after their win in Euro 2004 and they are a great addition to the 2010 tournament. South Africa has a strong Greek community that will certainly come out in support of this team during the World Cup,” said Jordaan.
Greece rewrote the football history books in the summer of 2004 with their sensational European Championship triumph in Portugal. Dismissed as rank outsiders before the tournament, the Greek dream gathered momentum as some of the sport's big names, including dethroned champions France, Czech Republic and finally hosts Portugal, succumbed to them.
They were part of the 1994 FIFA World Cup but failed to qualify for 1998, 2002 and 2006.
Uruguay qualified after a 1-1 draw with Costa Rica.
“With such a rich World Cup history it really is an honour to have Uruguay at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. As the first host and winner of this tournament they are a World Cup institution and will be closely followed during the tournament next year,” said Jordaan.
It has been some time since their last World Cup triumph − in Brazil in 1950 − but the Celeste have competed in eight further finals. They also reached the semi-finals in 1954 and 1970, and have reached the second round twice since.
The 32 qualified teams will be placed into their groups on 4 December 2009 during the Final Draw of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in Cape Town.
Issued by the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa Communications Department
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