FIFA Final draw event.

Posted: November 20, 2009 in Investigative articles
Preparations for the FIFA 2010 Final Draw reach fever pitch.
First published in The Event – October ‘09
Astrid Stark

A little more than 200 days remain before the first FIFA World Cup on the African continent kicks off. The FIFA Final Draw, which determines the group stages of the tournament, will take place on 4 December at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).   A mayoral welcome at the Noon Gun on 2 December will mark the beginning of nearly a week of activities and celebrations in the Mother City.

Joey Pather, General Manager of Commercial and Business Development at the CTICC, says they are delighted to be hosting the draw, “The fact that CTICC was chosen as the preferred venue is further testament to the centre’s world class capabilities as a leading convention centre,” Says Joey, “For the past 18 months, we have been hard at work putting the measures in place to successfully execute an event of this nature. We believe that it provides an ideal opportunity for the CTICC and Cape Town to significantly raise its profile as a competitive international business and leisure destination.”

Combined Artists Productions, Carte Blanche’s production company, will produce the show during which the final draw will take place.   According to the Local Organising Committee    (LOC), the stage and set have been designed and they are more than satisfied with Combined Artists, who they say, has already proven its ability to put on productions that are world class. Combined Artists produced two FIFA related shows to date; the Preliminary Draw in November 2007 in Durban, and the FIFA Confederations Cup Draw which took place during November 2008.  George Mazarakis, director and part owner of Combined Artists, says they have produced 6 Miss World and 12 Miss South Africa shows over the last few years. “Ours is a very well established company with more than 23 years experience,” says George, “A lot of our production work over the last 21 years has been for Carte Blanche, however we’ve also promoted artists such as Billy Connolly, UB40, Wet Wet Wet and Mike and the Mechanics.”  George describes how Louis Möller, who created the Barnyard Theatre Group, started the company and ran it with Bill Faure.  “I arrived as Executive Producer of Carte Blanche and later joined Jon Sparkes as director,” says George, “We then got Zanusi Social Investments involved as our BEE partners.”

Frikkie Odendaal of Afrikom Strategic Communications, who is assisting the City of Cape Town with the publicity around the Final Draw and its events, confirmed that the City’s Christmas lights will be turned on at 8pm on the 29th as part of the 2010 celebrations.  FIFA’s Sepp Blatter will officially launch the Fan Fest on 4 December at the Grand Parade, and a street party will carry on long after the draw has finished.  The Grand Parade is being renovated for the event and should be complete by the end of the year. Frikkie says during the Fan Fest there will be plenty of Cape Town flavoured music and entertainment, as well as food, arts and crafts stalls.Greenpoint stadium, with Table Mountain in background

The organisers expect the final draw to be broadcast in over 130 countries and to be attended by around 2 000 guests. More than 1 000 journalists and broadcasters will be witness to this spectacular.   FIFA Media Officer, Delia Fischer, says the final draw show is taking shape. “We will be able to announce more details on the performing artists shortly,” says Delia, “However, I can already tell you it will be an African show with international appeal around the eagerly anticipated,  ‘who’s pitted against whom – and where.”  

Although Delia is reluctant to divulge any more details at this stage, she has confirmed that, apart from the Mayoral welcome on 2 December, there will be a media conference following the meeting of the Organising Committee at the media centre in the CTICC.

On day two the FIFA Executive Committee will meet on Robben Island.  According to the LOC, the significance of this venue lies in the secret hobbies of political prisoners that were locked away on Robben Island.  The inmates often played football in their cells with balls made of pieces of paper, cardboard, and rags, held together with string.  Only in 1965 did the authorities finally allow inmates the right to play football openly. The prisoners soon formed their own teams and held matches on Saturdays.  The Makana Football Association was founded on Robben Island in 1969 and, according to the LOC, it adhered strictly to the FIFA Laws of the Game. On 18 July 2007 Makana became the first FIFA honorary member association. 

The final draw will take place at 19h00 local time, (18h00 CET), and it will last for around 90 minutes.   Delia Fischer explains that the ‘mixed-zone’ following the draw is only for journalists, “It is an area where media representatives may conduct brief interviews with the 32 coaches following the draw,” Says Delia.

On 5 September the First Football for Hope Centre will be opened in Khayelitsha, followed by a First World Press Day at the CTICC that will provide media with first-hand information on the preparations for the World Cup.  At 19h00 on the same day a World Press Day Media Beach party will be thrown.  Delia is keeping mum on any further details about the beach party.

The Khayelitsha Football for Hope Centre is part of the, 20 Centres for 2010 Campaign.  It is the 2010 FIFA World Cup SA’s aim to build 20 centres of education, public health and football across Africa; the first of these being constructed in Khayelitsha. 

FIFA has also organised a media event in which the 10 bidders for the 2018 and/or 2022 FIFA World Cup (Australia, Belgium-Netherlands, England, Indonesia, Japan, Korea Republic, Qatar, Spain-Portugal, Russia and the USA) will be able to present their bids.  This event will take place at Leeuwenhof 9 to 12 am on 4 December.

The End.

Astrid Stark


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