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South African President Presides Over Unveiling of World Cup 2010 Logo

The official emblem of the 2010 World Cup football tournament in South Africa was unveiled Friday in Berlin, two days before the final of this year's World Cup. U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan was among the dignitaries in attendance at the event titled Africa's Calling.

The logo has the words South Africa 2010 just below an abstract silhouette of a football player doing a scissors kick. In the lower right corner are the words FIFA World Cup. The emblem features the colors of the South African flag - blue, green, red, yellow,black and white.

South African President Thabo Mbeki said being able to host football's premier event provides a beacon of hope and it will touch the world and build a better future. "We come from a place where football is not simply a game but an enduring passion." Africa is ready. Africa's time has come. Africa is calling. Come to Africa in 2010," he said.

U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said football is perhaps more universal than the United Nations, as there are more members of FIFA totalling 207, football's world govering body, than the 192 members of th U.N.

"The World Cup is an event which illustrates the benefit of cross-pollinization between peoples and countires. More and more national teams now welcome coaches from other countries. More and more players represent clubs away from home between World Cups. They all bring new ways of thinking and playing. Everybody wins. Everybody wins by that cross pollinization," he said.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said football, because it is so popular, has to take on social responsibility in human development, and that is why it is important that South Africa is getting to host the next World Cup. "You deserve in your multi-cultural society solidarity, integration, democracy and friendship. And these will be yours for the 2010 World Cup as well. Your messages to the world will be our messages, because we will create, and we can create, and Mr. Kofi Annan will support us, especially there through football. And through the World Cup in South Africa we can really make the world a better place, to have a better world," he said.

Blatter, who had lobbied hard for the first African World Cup, said he trusts that South Africa will be ready to stage the big event four years from now.