Soweto's Soccer City, now the FNB Stadium, became a South African icon during the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. Soccer culture is at its boldest and brashest in this sprawling township south of Johannesburg.

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Spain lifted the FIFA World Cup™ for the first time after their win against the Netherlands in the final of the 2010  tournament in Soweto.

Soccer City hosted the first and last match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, including the opening and closing ceremonies. The stadium is now known as the FNB Stadium/Soccer City, and hosts large rugby and soccer matches and big events like concerts.

In many ways, Soweto's FNB Stadium/Soccer City is the heart of football in South Africa. Not only has it played host to momentous moments in the country's soccer history such as the success of South Africa's National Team, Bafana Bafana, in the 1996 African Cup of Nations final, it has also been the site of significant events in recent political history.

Here the first mass rally following Nelson Mandela's release from prison was held in 1990, and, in 1993, thousands gathered here to mourn the assassination of freedom struggle hero Chris Hani.

It was also the venue for Nelson Mandela's memorial service on 10 December 2013 when an unprecedented gathering of world leaders took place, among them current US president Barrack Obama, along with former presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W Bush.

A R1.5-billion upgrade ensured that this 2010 FIFA World Cup™ stadium was properly dressed for its important role. The new design resembles a calabash, or African beer pot. The warm, earthy colours of the 94 700-seater stadium show up vividly against the urban Sowetan landscape.

The stadium sports an extended upper tier, an encircling roof and a total of 184 hospitality suites. It has new change room facilities and improved lighting. Parking for 15 000 cars is available, with a further 4 000 underground bays for VIPs.

Sustainable building principles were a key consideration in construction, with use of reclaimed, low-maintenance materials and energy-saving fittings. In the summer, run-off water from the stadium is stored and used for utilitarian and irrigation purposes.

There are plans afoot for a museum tracing the history of football in Soweto to be built adjacent to the stadium in the future.

The famous 'Soweto Derbies', the soocer matches between bitter rival local soccer teams, Kaiser chiefs and Orlando Pirates, are played here.

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