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World Cup Countdown - LIVE

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By: Na 11 Jun 2010 08:22:17

World Cup Countdown - LIVE

As South Africa prepares to host the biggest football tournament on earth, football.co.uk keeps you up to date with all the latest news and developments ahead of the big kick-off.

13.20 The opening ceremony is just about to get underway - visit our LIVE MATCH CENTRE for all the build-up to South Africa V Mexico

12.20 The opening ceremony is less than an hour away now - getting excited yet? The ceremony will include trumpeter Hugh Masekela, Nigerian star Femi Kuti and Algerian afro-pop artist Khaled.

12.05 South Africa's World Cup Chief Danny Jordaan: "Our country has come to a standstill. The first time it happened was when Nelson Mandela walked out of prison on 11 February, 1990 and everyone then sat in front of the TV and waited for that moment. Today it is such a moment when the country is sitting waiting."

11.50 No World Cup host nation has ever failed to progress from their group. How's that for pressure on the unfancied South Africans?

11.35 Prior to the first game kicking-off, bookmaker William Hill have the following odds on the who will win the tournament - Spain 4/1, Brazil 5/1, Argentina 13/2, England 8/1, Netherlands 9/1 and Germany 14/1.

11.20 Mexico are not short of their own stars for today's crucial opening match, with Arsenal's Carlos Vela and new Manchester United signing Javier Hernandez among those that Premier League fans will be interested in seeing.

11.05 One to watch today - South Africa's Katlego Mphela who has scored six times in his last five games. Keep an eye on him.

10.50 South Africa's World Cup chief Danny Jordaan: "It's a dream come true, it's like the day that we thought of going to the polls to vote for the first time, or the day we waited for the prison doors to open and Nelson Mandela to walk out. These are defining moments in our history."

10.35 A survey by the BBC has revealed that only 13% of English fans believe England will win the World Cup, while 31% think we'll make the quarters and 17% think we'll get to the semi-finals.

10.20 Despite being widely predicted to have the worst World Cup record of any host, South Africa enter their game with Mexico on the back of an unbeaten 12 match run.  Could they spring a surprise on home turf?

10.00 The first game kicks-off in just five hours, while opening ceremoney starts in just three hours.  Not long to wait now...

9.45 It has been confirmed that Nelson Mandela will not be attending the World Cup opening ceremony later today.

9.15 Plans for former South African president Nelson Mandela to attend the opening ceremony have been thrown into doubt after his great-grandaughter's death on Friday.

There had already been doubts over the 91-year-old's participation following concerns over his health.

8.30 Hosts South Africa play Mexico in the opening game, with a full-house expected at the 94,000 seater Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg.

The opening ceremony, which will take place on the pitch prior to the game, will see 1,581 performers take part including R'n'B star Kelly Rowland.

- Play World Cup predictor
- Play World Cup fantasy football
- Win a signed England shirt
- World Cup diary: Ronaldo meets Mandela


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