For anyone driving past Soccer City stadium this afternoon, they would be forgiven for thinking that the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ stadium had opened just a few months too early.
Hundreds of people, many of them dressed in the jerseys of the South African national team descended on the outskirts of the stadium situated alongside the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa (OC) headquarters at SAFA House in Johannesburg.
The crowds were not there for a match but rather to celebrate the launch of Football Friday, an initiative that will see South Africans celebrating the upcoming World Cup by putting on the jerseys of their favourite football team every Friday leading up to the kick-off on 11 June 2010.
Joining in on the celebrations were the hundreds of construction workers who have been working tirelessly to complete the stadium. Taking a small break from the work, they gathered on the roof of Soccer City to wave their South African flags as Football Friday launched far below.
For the Chief Executive Officer of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa (OC), the launch of Football Friday marks the end of the World Cup readiness debate.
The World Cup will define how people view South Africa. It will be a springboard for our country and our economy. It is your chance to play your part in delivering a full colour World Cup
Pointing to the construction workers as they peered at the crowd from the heights of Soccer City's roof, he said, "The people behind us have now done their jobs. Now we must move from infrastructure to you, the hosts of this World Cup. We need our flags, we need our jerseys and we need our team Bafana Bafana. The world is ready, the teams are getting ready and now it is time for us to get ready."
For the acting Chief Executive Officer of the International Marketing Council (IMC), Paul Bannister the Football Friday campaign is about getting the people of South Africa behind what will certainly prove to be a defining moment for South Africa.
"The World Cup will define how people view South Africa. It will be a springboard for our country and our economy. It is your chance to play your part in delivering a full colour World Cup," said Bannister who encouraged more South Africans to adopt Football Friday for the 40 remaining Fridays until the 11 June 2010 kick-off.
With the crowds entertained by the moves of the Diski Dance crew and the sounds of the Soweto Marimba Youth League keeping the vibe going, the construction workers slowly descended from the roof to get back to work - confident in the knowledge that soon their important work will be complete as the bricks and mortar issues of the World Cup disappear and South Africans join together to welcome the world in 2010.