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Page last updated at 12:23 GMT, Friday, 7 May 2010 13:23 UK

Thousands queue in South Africa to see World Cup trophy

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SA glee as World Cup goes on show

Thousands of South Africans have been queuing for hours in Cape Town's Khayelitsha township to have their photo taken with the World Cup trophy.

The solid gold trophy is starting a month-long tour of the country before the World Cup starts on 11 June.

However, protocol dictates that only heads of state and tournament winners are allowed to actually touch it.

On its arrival, the trophy was taken by Fifa head Jerome Valcke to Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg.

Nelson Mandela with Fifa World Cup trophy
The World Cup trophy was taken directly to Nelson Mandela

Mr Valcke said Mr Mandela was one of the architects of the 2010 World Cup and there was no question the trophy would arrive in South Africa and not be brought to him first.

The BBC's Jonah Fisher in Cape Town says people, many wearing South African national football shirts, have been queuing down the street outside a leisure centre in Khayelitsha.

The trophy has been on a 130,000km (81,000 mile) tour of 86 countries in the past year and will now be taken to 33 towns across South Africa before ending up in Soweto for the first game of the tournament between the hosts and Mexico.

South Africa will be the first ever African nation to host the World Cup.

WORLD CUP PHOTO ALBUM

Our correspondent says the respect the World Cup trophy enjoys today is very different from 44 years ago when it was stolen from an exhibition in London.

A week later it was found wrapped in newspaper under a bush by a dog named Pickles.



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