Ø There were 736 players in FIFA World Cup in RSA; 32 teams with 23 players each.
Ø Over half of them played their club football in England (117 players), Germany (84), Italy (80), Spain (59) and France (46).
Ø The English, German and Italian squads were made up of entirely home based players (meaning players playing for their leagues)
Ø Nigeria was the only team that had no players from clubs in their own domestic league.
Ø In another first for South Africa 2010, one squad included three siblings. Jerry, Johnny and Wilson Palacios played for Honduras.
Ø For the first time ever, only six of thirteen European countries qualified for last 16, a record low since the stage was adopted in 1986
Ø Of the six African nations only three won any matches, and only one (Ghana) progressed out of the first round and went on to the quarterfinals.
Ø Both of the finalists from the preceding tournament (2006), France and Italy, were eliminated in the initial stage of the competition, the first time this has happened at a World Cup.
Ø New Zealand ended the tournament as the only undefeated team after drawing their three group matches, but they finished behind Paraguay and Slovakia and were eliminated.
Ø The 2010 tournament was the first FIFA World Cup not to feature any team making its debut appearance. However Slovakia had not previously appeared under that name, but is considered by FIFA to be a continuation of the Czechoslovakia team that last played in the 1990 tournament. North Korea qualified for the first time since 1966 (held in England); Honduras and New Zealand were both making their first appearances since 1982 (held in Spain) and Algeria were at the finals for the first time since the 1986 (held in Mexico) competition.
Ø On 24 April 1996, former Chelsea and Barcelona striker, Eidur Smari Gudjohnsen and his father Arnor entered football history when playing in an international friendly for Iceland against Estonia in Tallinn. Arnor started the match, and Eidur came on in the second half as a substitute for his father. Both father and son have later expressed bitterness at the fact that they were not allowed to play together in the match. The president of the Icelandic FA, Eggert Magnusson gave the coach, Logi Olafsson, an express order to not play them together because he wanted it to happen on home turf, when Iceland played Macedonia two months later in the first qualification round for the 1998 FIFA World Cup. As it happened they never got another chance because a month after the game in Estonia the younger Gudjohnsen broke his ankle, playing for the Icelandic U18 team against Ireland. He had difficulty coming back because of undiagnosed tendinitis in that ankle.
Ø Kevin-Prince Boateng and his half-brother Jerome Boateng became the first siblings to feature in opposing teams at the world cup. During the 2010 World Cup held in RSA, Kevin-Prince turned out for Ghana, whilst Jerome played for Germany.
Ø Cote d'Ivoire lost the 2012 AFCON to Zambia without conceding a single goal in the entire tournament. What’s more, it was the third finals for both. In all occasions that the Ivorians had been to the finals, the match had to be decided on penalties. They won against Ghana in 1992 (11-10), lost to Egypt in 2006 (4-2) and to Zambia in 2012 (8-7). The Southern Africans lost to Zaire (now DRC) in 1974 and to Nigeria in 1994 before winning against the West Africans in 2012. In 2006, the Ivorians also beat Cameroon 12-11 in other marathon penalties in the semifinals.
Ø South Africa became the first country outside of Europe to become a FIFA member in 1909 when their application was provisionally accepted. FIFA secretary, Carl Anton Wilhelm Hirschman of the Netherlands sent the letter which was followed by formal admission by the Congress held in Milan, Italy on May 15-16, 1910.
Ø The first recorded match to be played in South Africa was in 1862 as advertised in the Port Elizabeth newspaper, The Eastern Province Herald.
Ø The first international tour taken by a South African team was Orange Free State Bantu Soccer in 1898 which toured Great Britain.
Ø The British paper ‘The Bristol Times and Mirror' published an article titled “Football Phases” on January 4, 1897 which mentioned that the game had been played in South Africa since about 1888.
Ø The meeting that led to the formation of CAF was held at the Avenida Hotel in Lisbon on June 7 and 8, 1956 in Portugal at the FIFA Congress. The attendees were Abdelaziz Abdallah Salem, Youssef Mohamed and Mohamed Latif from Egypt, Dr. Abdel Halim Mohamed, Abdel Rahim Shaddaad, Bedawi Mohamed Ali from Sudan and Fred Fell from South Africa.
Ø Africa recognized as a FIFA continental zone at the Congress in 1954 held in Berne, Switzerland.
Ø FIFA expelled South Africa on Friday July 1976 impelled by the June 16 event.
Ø The first World Cup to be played under floodlights was held in Brazil in 1950.
Ø India had qualified for the world Cup in 1950 but forfeited its berth because FIFA wouldn't allow them to play barefoot. FIFA was to decree in 1963 that shoes had to be worn in official matches.
Ø The 1954 World Cup was the first to be broadcast live on television. Three years earlier in 1951, FIFA decided that the ball to be used would be white, a concession to television cameras which only transmitted in black and white at the time.
Ø In 1950 players' jerseys had numbers but England wore them according to positions and in 1954 players had to wear numbers throughout the tournament and had to be printed on the back.
Ø African teams withdrew en-masse for the 1966 World Cup as a protest against FIFA's continuous relationship with South Africa and the decree that Africans have to play playoffs with other countries to qualify. Countries that boycotted are Algeria, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, Tunisia and UAR. The UAR - United Arab Republic - was a union of Egypt and Syria and Iraq.
Ø South Africa was in the same group with Australia, South Koreas, North Korea for the 1966 World Cup qualifiers. RSA was later disqualified and North Korea qualified. That was their last qualification until 2010 in RSA.
Ø Portugal had five Mozambican born players at the 1996 World Cup. They were Eusebio, Augusto, Mario Coluna (the captain), Hilario and Simoe. Eusebio with 9 goals - more than half of Portugal's total tally of 17 was the tournament top scorer.
Ø FIFA decreed that goalkeepers must wear gloves at the 1954 World Cup held in Switzerland.
Ø Yellow and red cards were first used in international football tournaments in 1970 World Cup though they were used in the 1968 Olympics Games.
Ø Tunisia was the first African country to win the match at the World cup beating Mexico 3-1 in 1978 in Argentina. Their record was bettered by Algeria who West Germany 2-1 and Chile 3-1 respectively in 1982. Morocco became the first African country to reach the second round of the World Cup in 1986. They did so by topping their group that included England, Poland and Portugal.
Ø The first African countries to reach the quarterfinals of the World Cup are Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002 and Ghana in 2010. Senegal achieved the feat in their first appearance. Both Cameroon and Senegal did that by beating defending champions - Argentina and France.
Ø The immediate economic consequences of South Africa losing the right to host the 2006 world cup which went to Germany was that the Rand lost its value. On July 7 the Rand slid to U$ 6.85 after the announcement. On July 5, it had stood at U$ 6.73, partly due to optimism that South Africa would win the bid. African Football Confederation broke off all relations with Asia for backing Germany after indicating earlier that they would vote for either South Africa or Morocco.