South Africa has been selected to host the football World Cup in 2010.
It beat Morocco and Egypt in the final vote to become the first African country to host the event.
The president of the organising body Fifa has described the move as a victory for the whole continent.
Do you agree with the decision to stage the 2010 World Cup in South Africa? What will be the benefits?
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
The following comments reflect the balance of the opinion we have received:
A richly deserved honour. The crowning achievement would be for an African team to also win that year's World Cup. May it be so!
Nicolas Nagy, Valparaiso, Chile
As a South African and citizen of the world community, I see this as not only a triumph for Africa, but also a sign of progress in the international community. Let Mama Africa finally bask in her magnificence as the world looks on in, hopefully, full fledged support. Viva, Africa Viva!!
Mbizo Mzamane, Philadelphia, USA
I feel this is one way of helping Sub-Saharan Africa to develop. It will surely help not only South Africa but also surrounding countries like Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, among them some of the world's poorest nations.
Nicholas Banda, Nairobi, Kenya
I am so proud that South Africa has been selected to host the 2010 football World Cup because the country has the potential and facilities to host the match.
Tegene Desalegn, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
I am really excited that at long last the World Cup will be hosted in South Africa. Let it be a chance for Africa to showcase what we are made of.
Daniel Newton, Accra, Ghana
This is a decision long overdue. We deserve it as Africans because for long we have been too much in the dark, especially if one considers that all those Zidane's, Thiery Henry, Sol Campbell and many other footballers lured by Europe are originally African or have some African connection. Thank you South Africa thank you Africa. I as a Zimbabwean will definitely be there.
Lovemore Muchenje, Leicester,UK
What's with all the talk of "victory"? The FIFA President changes the rules to ENSURE South Africa wins the right to the 2010 World Cup (did anyone seriously think Morocco or Egypt had a chance?) and we should all rejoice at this? Let's be honest with ourselves, this was a game of politics and nothing to do with the good of the game of football. I wouldn't bet against the next tiddly-winks World Cup taking place there too, everything else seems to be given to them!
Greig, Dublin, Ireland
Congratulations to South Africa and Africa as a whole!! Africa is the "heart and soul" of soccer and the World Cup will now be staged where it belongs! To the losing candidates, do not despair, as Thabo Mbeki said, they are partners in the event and we must work together to make it the most glamorous soccer event ever!
Mukuka, Morningside, Johannesburg, South Africa
The decision could not have come at a better time! The whole of sub-Saharan Africa and indeed Africa as a whole will benefit and have been put to a great test. The 21st century should open many doors for Africa.
The 21st century should open many doors for Africa
Gabriel Chingwe, Lusaka, Zambia
Gabriel Chingwe, Lusaka, Zambia.
This is victory for the black race. I pray this should be a turning point for Africa economically
Okafor Richard, Abuja, Nigeria
Today, it is one of the many days I feel proud again to be South African. We are a nation of dreamers, and God has always made them come true. We will host the international community with dignity and pride and you will feel the south African spirit!
Arewanga, Pretoria, South Africa
Just after President Mbeki's presentation I knew that it was going to come our way. The speech was well calculated and irresistible. Thanks FIFA.
Rudy Nengome, Pretoria, South Africa
Well done South Africa and Africa at large. This is a history moment not only for South Africa but the African continent because staging the World Cup means economic gain, money, tourism etc. Special thanks also to rest of the world for continued commitment and desire to stage the event in South Africa. We can at last agree that its a true World Cup with Africa given its share of the cake. Together we stand!
Meepo Mosupiemang, Gaborone, Botswana
Congratulations South Africa. The rainbow-nation is a symbol of past memories, challenges and opportunities. No other country in Africa can offer these diversities to the world. Let's feel honoured as Africans!
Safari Mubagwa, Ö-vik, Sweden/DR Congo
Madiba magic! This is a great and a special moment for all South Africans home and abroad and for all Africans in the continent and the Diaspora. South Africans over the weekend celebrated this victorious achievement like they did when they achieved liberation in 1994. As a proud South African, I must thank those who showed confidence in our country and its leadership by rallying around us during these difficult times as we battled against two powerful northern African countries Egypt and Morocco for victory. I wish that these countries that did not make it should join us in preparation and ensuring that Africa hosts a successful World Cup.
Owen Manda, Durham, England
Opportunity is given to Africa at last. South Africa - through you African soccer will grow more.
Manuel Adamu, Baney, Equatorial Guinea
Hi all, I hope this is great week in the history of football to black people. This may sound "one-Sided" but we have to be real .I watched Vieira, Arsenal captain pick an English Premier League Cup as I listened on how SA is to host the World Cup. Football is a God's blessed game where all people are equal. Thanks to all those who think like that.
Bwema, Kampala, Uganda
This is a victory for all the developing nations in the world. Images of Mr Mandela (a champion of peace) holding the World Cup (amidst all the war and turmoil that surrounds us) are soothing to the eye.
Akshay Misra, Newcastle, UK/Dubai, UAE
Congratulations to South Africa and Black Africa! This was long overdue and I am glad it is coming to South Africa.
Odhuno Were, Edmonton Canada
Nkosi Sikele Afrika!
Angus, Glasgow, Scotland
This has to be one of South Africa's greatest achievements. Today we are all proudly South African.
Robert Walker, Pretoria, South Africa
South Africa has seen drastic changes in its politics and economy. South Africa has shown the world that a country can change and the world has acknowledged this by allowing it to host the 2010 World Cup. Congratulations.
Rafal Schubert, Warsaw, Poland
It was long overdue. Dempsey may now rest in peace.
Philip Lwando, Lusaka
I agree with the decision and I am so happy to hear the news. The decision will make South Africa move a step in the right direction. Though South Africa has cerebrated 10 years of freedom and democracy for all its people, it has still a lot of problems such as high unemployment, massive wealth inequality, high crime and HIV/Aids. South Africa will get the great benefits from hosting the 2010 World Cup. The time has come when South Africa shows its power and contribution to the world. I am looking forward to seeing their efforts and success in 2010!
Hiroko Fujiie, Mutsuzawa, Chiba, Japan
The victory belongs to the whole of Africa which was unfairly denied that chance in the past. This also provides an opportunity for the world to see and experience what Africa has in store for them. It's a window of opportunity to show the world that not violence, diseases, poverty and conflict all the time defines Africa and its people. I am Kenyan but proud of my fellow South African brothers. God, I promise to be down in South Africa for a live attendance come 2010. It doesn't matter whether I will start my trek in 2009, I have to be there and share the joy with my brothers.
Mwaura Muthinja, Canada/Kenya
Congratulations, South Africa, this is for Nelson Mandela's effort to finally see them host the World Cup finals in Africa for the first time. This is also for Brenda (rest in peace) for her soul and all she stood for while she was alive. We can now travel by bus to Joburg from Nairobi to come and see the cup finals. Congrats again.
Maureen, Nairobi, Kenya
Congratulations to South Africa and its citizens! This was a victory for all of Africa and football!
It's about time. We (Africans) have supplied the best soccer talents in the world, now we will host the best tournament ever.
Lord Zac, USA
South Africa is representative of the success of democracy and good-will. It is most apt that this rising nation hosts the world's most popular sporting event in 2010. Congratulations, SA! Good luck SA!
Rojymon Jacob, Philadelphia, USA
Could the revenue required to stage the World Cup not be of better use spent on the needs of the people of South Africa rather than to provide a base for a commercial event? Why not make it a precondition that all/75%+ of the profits are donated towards eradicating famine in all of Africa?
pat, Ilford, UK
I am more than just delighted. Fifa made a good decision since we are the best country in Africa to host this event on Africa's behalf. Every South African will benefit from this. More jobs will be created, half of which will be permanent. Thanks Fifa, thanks very much.
Ndumiso Zwane, Volksrust, South Africa
This is very good news indeed for Southern Africa and Africa as a whole. Personally this is a chance to see the word's best and I am starting my own preparations for this showcase come 2010. Well done SA.
Phil Mcheto, Harare, Zimbabwe
Well done South Africa you deserve 2010.
Clint Mallett, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Even though one is miles away from home, I can feel the jubilation, euphoria and smells from braai vleis (barbeque). For us this is more than winning the World Cup itself, it transcends soccer; it is a continental victory and unification of Africa. It means pride, ownership and sense of belonging and I'm sure will live up to the required expectations. I can only thank Fifa, SA Bid Committee, and the leadership of the country as well as all South Africans for excellent work done.
Sello Tebogo Makube, Dundee, Scotland, UK
Very happy to be a South African today. It means a lot for the people of this country.
Carel Robinson, Johannesburg
I am really delighted South Africa has won the right to host the football World Cup in 2010. This is great news for Southern Africa, Africa and the entire world. I am an Angolan living in the UK, and I kept my faith in South Africa to win after that disappointment of losing to Germany to host the 2006. Well done Mandela, and South Africa.
Daniel Paxi, UK
I am a South African now living in London, but nothing can take away the pride that I feel towards the achievements of our country in the last 10 years. The World Cup is yet another feather in the cap of our young democracy.
Bruce, London, UK
I'm wondering whether South Africa will be able to pull it off. I have several South African friends here in Flanders and from what I hear the situation is rapidly deteriorating. Aids and the crime rate are sky rocketing with no end in sight. Unless a turn around occurs soon I doubt the country will be in a position to host without massive outside help.
Hendrik, Antwerp, Flanders
I am glad about the NEWS. I hope, Mandela will still be around to enjoy his successful contribution to this result.
A. Mamo, Frankfurt, Germany
Hola World. See you here in 2010. You are going to love it, promise.
Alex, Cape Town, South Africa
Sometimes there is indeed good news for Africa!
Abdulhamid, Muscat, Oman
It's great news for South Africa. The country in my opinion was the only African candidate able to provide the infrastructure and services for such a large project. My advice would be for them to market their country very well as this will boost tourism (and therefore jobs) for many years, even after the Cup.
Jonathan Sinakgomo, Wolverhampton, UK
This is great news not only for South Africa but for the rest of Southern Africa.
Tendai Mwale, Malawi
A breath of fresh air, a new beginning, the start of a new era for a continent which has sadly been in the news only for sad calamities. Congratulations to South Africa and good luck.
Javaid I. Chaudhry, Oslo, Norway
I totally agree....South Africa deserves to host this the World Cup, job creation is the primary benefit.
Amir, Pretoria, South Africa
It's just amazing! Even though we've had the rugby and cricket World Cups, the soccer World Cup is just huge, it will put us on the map for sure. Everyone in South Africa is going to benefit from it! Today I am really proud to be a South African. See you at the final!!!
Duncan, Cape Town, South Africa
Now it's Africa's time to shine.
Said Mahad, Copenhagen, Denmark
This is what everyone expected. Having the high profile delegation led by Mr Nelson Mandela, what else do expect than giving South Africa the hosting rights? Thank you Fifa.
Emeodi, Bolton, UK
I thing it is a great victory both for South Africa and Africa in general.
Chala Goshou, East Africa
It is a pleasure and a great success for all Africans, that a nation from Africa has been selected to host the football World Cup 2010.
Eshetu Andarge, Dubai
This is great news for Africa and I'm glad that it is beginning to show that all continents can have the honour of hosting the World's biggest sporting event. I would love to see it come to Australia. We have the track record that proves we are more than capable to host the event and if our sports-mad nation could see soccer in all its glory in our backyard, then I'm sure it would be great for the sport. Anyway I'm looking forward to a great tournament in South Africa!
Karl, Brisbane, Australia
Congratulations to our SA friends. It is a sign of global acceptance of SA. Morocco and Egypt should not get disappointed. They should make a fresh start. Best of luck to them.
Rohit Pandey, Mumbai, India