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World Cup: South African tournament draws third-best attendance

July 12, 2010 |  7:24 am

The first World Cup on African soil drew the third-largest attendance in tournament history, behind only the 1994 tournament in the United States and the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

FIFA, the international ruling body for soccer, said in a statement Monday that 3.18 million fans attended the 64 matches in South Africa, an average attendance of nearly 50,000. The 1994 World Cup in the U.S. holds the record with 3.59 million attending 52 matches, an average of 69,000 per game. The tournament expanded to 32 teams four years later and in 2006, 3.36 million fans attended the 64 matches in Germany.

-- Kevin Baxter in Johannesburg, South Africa