World Cup Played in Africa for First Time

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World Cup organizers have considered banning plastic horns that have been brought into the games currently underway in South Africa as players, fans and even television viewers have complained about them.

It is estimated than 2.6 billion people will watch the games on television. The games will bring an estimated $2 billion dollars into the South African ecomony.

Next to the Olympics, the World Cup is one of the biggest international sporting events.

Pressure is on Team USA

The pressure is intense -- especially for Team USA, who is trying to show the world it can compete at soccer's highest level.

Many Americans may not know the big names or even the rules, but for the next four weeks, World Cup fever will be hard avoid.

It's the world's biggest sporting event. Thirty-two teams and some 500 players and coaches from around the world are fighting for soccer's top prize. And for the first time in history, the World Cup is on African soil.

South Africa's Chance to Shine 

Crowds for the opening matches were enormous and deafening. And for a country plagued with crime and corruption, South African's are ready to show the world a different side.

"We are going to showcase our country to the world. It's going to bring a country a whole lot of unity," one person said.

"It's a great honor to have the World Cup in our country. I want people to see we can do it!," one young boy exclaimed.

The tournament will take place over the next four weeks in stadiums across the country.

The World Cup takes center stage in most countries. But in the U.S., soccer is often put on the back burner for sports like football and basketball. But that's slowly changing.

The majority of tickets bought for the opening match weren't by made soccer fan strong holds like England or Brazil, but from the United States.

"This is the biggest sports stage in the world. This is big time. This is our Super Bowl. This is our NBA final. This all that together," said Team USA's Oguchi Oneywu.

Team USA Ties With the Brits 

Over the past weekend, Team USA, which is ranked among the top 15 teams in the world, walked off of the field with heads held high after its first match which resulted in a 1-1 tie with the British team.

The United Kingdom scored first with just five minutes into the game.  But 35 minutes later, the U.S. responded with a goal after a fumble by the UK goalkeeper.

"It was a goal the keeper should probably have made a save on, but hey, they all count the same if they go in," said Team USA midfielder Clint Dempsey.

Security Tight At Games, Around Players  

Security at the games is tight. Team USA's first match saw some of the toughest security in soccer history.

"Obviously an iconic sporting event particularly one which the United States is playing, is likely to attract the attention of a whole range of terrorist organizations," said South African Ass't Chief Constable Andrew Holt.  

The State Department said there is no credible threat of attack, but did issue a travel warning saying extremist groups could conduct attacks there in the near future.

Chaplains Continue to Minister to Players, Coaches 

Security surrounding the players is even tighter, but that's not stopping Christians from ministering at the global event.

"It's a hard job for a chaplain, because boy the security around those hotels and those athletes is so great. But the athletes themselves are contacting the chaplains," one man said. "They know they're going to get support and they're going to get prayer and they're going to get tools on how to handle that pressure."

Christian Missionaries Distributing DVDs of "The Prize" 

In addition to the chaplains at the World Cup, Christian missionaries are there to share Christ with fans who have come from around the world.

Campus Crusade for Christ's sports ministry Athletes in Action is freely distributing a DVD entitled "The Prize."

It features soccer stars who share the importance of their faith in Jesus Christ.

The ministry told CBN News the DVD has already helped lead some people to become Christians.

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Dale Hurd

Dale Hurd

CBN News Sr. Reporter

A CBN News veteran, Dale Hurd has reported extensively from Western Europe, as well as China, Russia, and Central and South America.  Since 9/11, Dale has reported in depth on various aspects of the global war on terror in the United States and Europe.  Follow Dale on Twitter @HurdontheWeb and "like" him at Facebook.com/DaleHurdNews.