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SA wishes Brazil a successful World Cup
The South African government has conveyed its best wishes for a successful 2014 FIFA World Cup to the government and people of Brazil.

The opening match will be preceded by a ceremony at the Arena de Sao Paulo that pays tribute to nature, people and football.

Deputy CEO of Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), Nebo Legoabe said: “On behalf of government and the people of South Africa, we wish Brazil all of the best. Football has the ability to unite people from different cultures and backgrounds.

“It is our hope that, just as we experienced this in 2010, a deep sense of pride and confidence will sweep over Brazil, as the world experiences its rich culture and vibrancy, and its hosting of this major event”.

She said government is pleased at the number of African teams that will contest the FIFA World Cup and is confident that the teams will make the continent proud.

“Africa’s participation in major sporting events is gaining momentum, and we will be supporting our continental teams.”

Legoabe said government encourages Brazilians to enjoy the tournament and the lasting benefits that will be in place after the event.

“Government also invites South Africans to use this occasion to reflect on the success with which our country hosted this event four years ago this week; we must hold onto this legacy as we move South Africa forward in the years to come,” she said.

Brazil to take on Croatia

The football-obsessed national team is expected to beat Croatia in their opening match scheduled to kick-off at 10pm South African time at de Arena Sao Paulo.

The host nation have never lost their opening World Cup game, with the previous 20 opening games producing 14 victories and six draws for the hosts.

The month-long tournament sees 32 nations compete for a place in the final in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday, 13 July.

African teams

Africa's national teams, who are representing the continent and hoping to produce better results than at the 2010 tournament in South Africa, are Ghana, Algeria, Côte d'Ivoire, Nigeria and Cameroon. -

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