FIFA World Cup opening ceremony
Itaquerao Stadium shined under blue skies as Brazil kicked off its home World Cup with a football-style Carnival Thursday before thousands of dancing yellow-clad fans, who seemed eager to put construction delays and protests behind them.
Jennifer Lopez, rapper Pitbull and pop star Claudia Leitte bounced around a giant stage resembling a peeled melon singing the World Cup theme "We Are One" as Brazilian band Olodum banged drums below on this nation's Valentine's Day.
JLo, dressed in a low-cut sparkling green outfit, turned up for the performance despite earlier reports that she wouldn't be able to attend.
Brazil is ready to samba, and plans to teach the world to join in for the coming month during the showcase tournament for the world's most popular sport. The futebol-crazed country hoped Thursday's Croatia-Brazil opener would be the start of a run to extend its record to six World Cup titles.
At one point at the end of the ceremony, fans chanted and booed against Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and soccer's governing body, FIFA. Many in the nation have complained that spending on the World Cup and the 2016 Rio Olympics has diverted cash from the poor and infrastructure improvements.
Jennifer Lopez, left, Claudia Leitte, centre, and Pitbull perform during the FIFA World Cup opening ceremony in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press)
Although traffic and transit strikes have plagued the sprawling Sao Paulo area in recent weeks, thousands made it into Itaquerao Stadium in plenty of time to party. The home fans cheered alongside small pockets of spirited Croatians in their checkered red and white tops.
The field was covered in multi-colored rays for the opening ceremony, which cost 18 million Brazilian reais, or about $8 million. A stadium worker died March 29 while installing temporary seats for the opener after construction already had been behind schedule.
Video highlights and memorable bloopers from past World Cups were shown on the big screens at either end of the stadium toward the conclusion of the 30-minute show. The program was choreographed by Paulo Barros, a two-time winner of the samba school title at the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. After 100 hours of rehearsal and 31 auditions, circus artists and army soldiers were among those who performed.
Protesters, police clash
Nearly half the world's population, well over three billion spectators, is expected to watch soccer's premier event and get a glimpse of the country that in two years will host the Summer Olympics.
Play began with Brazil and Croatia meeting in Sao Paulo on Thursday. Brazilians are hungry to see their soccer juggernaut deliver a record sixth World Cup crown to a nation desiring something — anything — to celebrate after enduring a year of gruelling protests and strikes.
But as play begins, it still isn't clear which Brazil we'll see.
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FIFA 2010 World Cup opening ceremony? | Yahoo Answers
The opening ceremony is on the 11th June appx 2pm uk time and the first game of the 2010 world cup kicks off at 4pm between the hosts, South Africa and Mexico. The England game against USA will be at 8.30pm on the following day, the 12th.
ITV and BBC are both covering the games but I cannot find any specific details as yet.
2010 South Africa FIFA World Cup opening ceremony? | Yahoo Answers
Yip , i agree it should be something that will appeal to everyone , the cricket ceremony was kak, the kids at my daughters creche put on a better show that them...
I guess that is why so many think our country is a jungle with wild animals roaming the streets cos thats the perception we put out there...
The Sydney olympics was brilliant and i think its gonna be a while since that is going to be topped - didnt enjoy Athens that much...
Ya a stampede is a good idea , hopefully the politicians are close to the field....lol...
When is the opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup 2010?
World Cup 2010
'Kick-off Celebration Concert' - June 10
The inaugural FIFA World Cup 2010 "Kick-off Celebration Concert"
takes place at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto (in Johannesburg, South Africa) on Thursday, June 10 at 20:00 local time (GMT+2).
The concert will be broadcast live worldwide.
Opening Ceremony preceding the Opening Match - June 11
The opening match of the FIFA World Cup games itself - the first-ever games to be held on the African continent - takes place on Friday afternoon, June 11, at 16:00 (GMT+2) in Johannesburg.
The opening ceremony takes places 2 hours befo…