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South Africa World Cup 101: Why is it in Johannesburg?

In 2004, Africa was selected for the first time to host the South Africa World Cup. The competition was between South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia. In May of that year, South Africa won the bid.

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A South African supporter holding replicas of the World Cup trophy at Nelson Mandela square in Johannesburg, South Africa, Thursday.

Martin Meissner/AP

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From its beginning in 1930, world soccer's governing body, FIFA, has rotated the South Africa World Cup between its member football associations from continent to continent. In practice, that meant the World Cup was held mostly in Europe and Latin America.

In 2002, Asia hosted the World Cup for the first time, and it was hosted jointly (also a first) by South Korea and Japan.

In 2004, Africa was selected (for the first time) as the continent to host the World Cup, and the competition was between South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia.

On May 15, 2004, FIFA chairman Sepp Blatter announced that South Africa had won the bid, to the visible satisfaction of visiting dignitaries such as former President Nelson Mandela.

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