The World Cup of Soccer is one of the world’s most watched events. Fans from around the world look forward to this exciting sporting event. The next FIFA World Cup of Soccer games will be held in South Africa between 11 June and 11 July 2010. This event is the nineteenth World Cup of Soccer, and the first to be held in Africa. The first World Cup of Soccer was held in Uruguay in 1930. The first time the World Cup was played outside Europe or the Americas was Korea/Japan in 2002.
More than two hundred teams began competing in August 2007 for entry into the finals in South Africa. The number of countries involved in the World Cup is comparable with those competing in the 2008 Olympics. There will be thirty-one teams vying for the Cup in South Africa in 2010. The only team guaranteed play at the finals is the host country team, South Africa. Italy will be defending champions at this tournament. It is expected that more than a billion viewers will watch the games worldwide.
Only seven countries have ever held the Cup since its inception. Brazil has been champion five times, Italy four, Federal Republic of Germany three, Argentina and Uruguay twice each, and England and France once. The world of soccer is split into six geographic areas with each allocated a certain number of places at the finals. The areas are: Africa, with fifty-three teams vying for 5 places; Asia, forty-three teams for 4.5 places; Europe, fifty-three teams for thirteen places; North, Central America and Caribbean, thirty-five teams for 3.5 places; Oceania, ten teams for .5 places; South America, ten teams for 4.5 places.