World Cup Kick-Off At Trafalgar Square
Published 13 June 2010
Friday not only saw the start of the World Cup, but also celebrations in Trafalgar Square of the start of the tournament. The kick-off for this year FIFA’s tournament was televised on a big outdoor screen, and the square also hosted the best of the South African culture, music and food.
A big screen set in Trafalgar Square allowed Londoners and visitors to watch the opening ceremony along with the official opening football match between South Africa and Mexico, who are in Group A of the tournament with the hosts.
The Mayor Of London, Boris Johnson, hosted the free event in the morning joined by South African High Commissioner Dr Zola Skweyiya and pupils from the St Joseph’s Primary School, Covent Garden.
“Throughout the world, anticipation and excitement are reaching fever pitch as the master exponents of the Beautiful Game come together in thrilling competition. So, vuvuzelas at the ready – here’s to South Africa and a glorious World Cup,” Mayor Boris Johnson said.
It was a joyful ceremony. Lots of Bafana Bafana fans turned out to cheer the host nation on as the big screen televised the opening game live for all to see. The Mayor looked enchanted with the cheers of the children. Wearing a colourful scarf, it seemed like the Mayor was keen to support the South African team on the opening match, but he made clear his allegiance for the World Cup:
“Let no one underestimate my support for England squad. I’m immensely proud that so many are from London teams. I look forward to hearing the three lions roar – let’s bring back the Cup to our shores.” The Mayor said.
The bets are not only on England success in the World Cup. The Mayor is due to fly to the African continent next week to pick up tips from the South Africans as England bids to host the World Cup in 2018.
The mayor said: “We will deliver a spectacular festival of football if we get to host the World Cup in 2018. We’re a diverse, football-mad nation and with its wonderful mix of communities London will provide a home to welcome any visiting fan or player.”
Friday’s free event in Trafalgar Square was to showcase the best of South African culture. It included a performance by award-winning South African lyric soprano Pumeza Matshikiza, a mass Waving the Flag experience and some “lekker” (good) South African food. Best to try is the Bobotie and Rice, Koeksisters and the popular Boerewors Roll.
Editor’s Tip: While there are no plans to televise more World Cup games at Trafalgar Square, if (or when, shall I say) England make it past the Round of 16 it is quite likely that there will be an outdoor screening of England games in Trafalgar Square. In the meantime, check out our comprehensive guide to the top places to watch the World Cup in London this summer.