Fri, June 11, 2010
Sports > Soccer > 2010 FIFA World Cup

World Cup opening ceremony begins in South Africa

2010-06-11 12:27:02 GMT2010-06-11 20:27:02 (Beijing Time)  SINA.com

Performers dance during the opening ceremony of the 2010 World Cup at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg June 11, 2010. (REUTERS Photo)

Performers dance during the opening ceremony of the 2010 World Cup at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg June 11, 2010. (REUTERS Photo)

Performers dance during the opening ceremony of the 2010 World Cup at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg June 11, 2010. (REUTERS Photo)

Performers dance during the opening ceremony of the 2010 World Cup at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg June 11, 2010. (REUTERS Photo)

Performers dance and carry a replica of a dung beetle during the opening ceremony of the 2010 World Cup at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg June 11,2010. (AP Photo)

The World Cup opening ceremony got underway on Friday in South Africa, with a five-plane military flypass over the Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg.

The stadium, the largest in Africa, buzzed with the sound of thousands of vuvuzela trumpets as the jets flew overhead, but the stands were only partially full as many fans battled gridlock traffic to reach the venue.

South Africa's legendary trumpeter Hugh Masekela and American R-and-B star R Kelly are headlining the event that includes 1,500 performers showcasing music and dance from the six African countries participating in the tournament.

Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu was in the crowds, dressed in a yellow and green scarf and beanie to support the Bafana Bafana national side.

South Africa's first black president Nelson Mandela had been expected to attend, but he cancelled at the last minute following the tragic death of his 13-year-old great granddaughter in a car accident during the night.

(Agencies)

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