The countdown to the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa has begun in earnest and the spotlight begins to fall on the venues as soccer fans from around the world check out the destinations from where their favoured teams begin the adventure which they all hope will lead to the Final in Johannesburg’s Soccer City on July 11th.

Durban is the largest city in KwaZulu-Natal province and the third largest in South Africa with a population of almost 3.5 million. Located on a huge natural lagoon with the warm seas of the Indian Ocean lapping on its shores, with its golden beaches and its diverse culture, Durban is one of South Africa’s most exciting places to visit.  The famous Golden Mile provides many opportunities for swimmers, sun worshippers and surfers and has lots of other attractions including uShaka Marine World and the Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World. Winter days in sub-tropical Durban are warm and sunny and the nights tend to be cool and breezy.

Durban’s newly built 70,000-seater Moses Mabhida Stadium is truly a world class venue. The stadium has an arch reminiscent of Wembley stadium and a cable car ascends to a viewing platform 106 metres above the pitch to reveal spectacular views of the nearby shoreline and the city.  The stadium will play host to Five Group Matches, one Round of Sixteen Match and one Semi-Final from June 13th to July 7th.

Germany and Australia get the ball rolling at 20:30 on June 13th in their Group D match. On June 16th Spain and Switzerland take centre stage with their Group H match kicking off at 16:00.  This is followed on June 19th at 13:30 by the Group E match between Netherlands and Japan.  Nigeria and South Korea play their Group B match at 20:30 on June 22nd.  The final Group match takes place on June 25th when Portugal and Brazil meet in a Group G encounter at 16:00.

On June 28th at 16:00 the winners of Group E play the runners up in Group F in a Round of 16 match.

Finally at 20:30 on July 7th Durban plays host to one of the semi-finals.

King Shaka International Airport (KSIA) which is set to replace Durban International Airport is due to be completed by the end of 2009 and is expected to open May 1st 2010 in time for the influx of World Cup fans. It is located at La Mercy, approximately 35 kilometres (21 miles) north of the city centre.

The distance from Durban to the other World Cup 2010 venues is as follows:

Johannesburg  598 Km, Polokwane  929 Km, Rustenburg 711 Km, Bloemfontein 670 Km,
Cape Town 1660 Km, Port Elizabeth 927 Km, Pretoria 656 Km, Nelspruit 689 Km.

More info on World Cup 2010 venues available here World Cup Venues

Source by dan blue