2010 World Cup

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The 2010 World Cup was contested in South Africa. It was the 19th World Cup, a football tournament held every four years under the auspices of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). 32 national teams contested the final; Spain, the winning team, took home $30,000,000.

Although initially there was doubt about South Africa's ability to host the games, and worry over whether or not venues would be completed on time, the competition ended with a great deal of praise for the accomplishments of the host nation. Another source of complaint was the official match ball, the Jabulani, by Adidas, which some players criticised for unpredictability. There was also concern about the displacement of disadvantaged persons living around competition venues; an issue which often occurs during preparations for international events and which was not unique to World Cup 2010.

FIFA itself came under fire from several controversial refereeing decisions, most notoriously a handball from French captain Thierry Henry in the France-Ireland game that delivered a World Cup berth to France, despite international outcry and an official protest from Ireland, and a series of judgmental blunders and inconsistent decisions during the current tournament.

With respect to the judging controversy, FIFA's original position was that there was nothing wrong with the present system. In the wake of continued egregious errors in judgment during the competition, notably the denying of a goal to English midfielder Frank Lampard during the England-Germany match, FIFA agreed to review the possibility of using electronic technology.

A playoff between the losers of the two semi-finals determined third (Germany) and fourth (Uruguay) places. The finals were held on Sunday 11th July 2010 in Soccer City, (the main venue, a football-specific stadium in Johannesburg), and Spain defeated Netherlands one-nil, after Andrés Iniesta scored in the 116th minute, to win the World Cup for the first time ever.