South Africa the Republic of South Africa, is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometres of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and, with over 57 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation, it is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages, nine of which have official status; the remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European and multiracial ancestry. South Africa is a multiethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures and religions, its pluralistic makeup is reflected in the constitution's recognition of 11 official languages, the fourth highest number in the world. Two of these languages are of European origin: Afrikaans developed from Dutch and serves as the first language of most coloured and white South Africans.
The country is one of the few in Africa never to have had a coup d'état, regular elections have been held for a century. However, the vast majority of black South Africans were not enfranchised until 1994. During the 20th century, the black majority sought to recover its rights from the dominant white minority, with this struggle playing a large role in the country's recent history and politics; the National Party imposed apartheid in 1948. After a long and sometimes violent struggle by the African National Congress and other anti-apartheid activists both inside and outside the country, the repeal of discriminatory laws began in 1990. Since 1994, all ethnic and linguistic groups have held political representation in the country's liberal democracy, which comprises a parliamentary republic and nine provinces. South Africa is referred to as the "rainbow nation" to describe the country's multicultural diversity in the wake of apartheid; the World Bank classifies South Africa as an upper-middle-income economy, a newly industrialised country.
Its economy is the second-largest in Africa, the 34th-largest in the world. In terms of purchasing power parity, South Africa has the seventh-highest per capita income in Africa; however and inequality remain widespread, with about a quarter of the population unemployed and living on less than US$1.25 a day. South Africa has been identified as a middle power in international affairs, maintains significant regional influence; the name "South Africa" is derived from the country's geographic location at the southern tip of Africa. Upon formation, the country was named the Union of South Africa in English, reflecting its origin from the unification of four separate British colonies. Since 1961, the long form name in English has been the "Republic of South Africa". In Dutch, the country was named Republiek van Zuid-Afrika, replaced in 1983 by the Afrikaans Republiek van Suid-Afrika. Since 1994, the Republic has had an official name in each of its 11 official languages. Mzansi, derived from the Xhosa noun umzantsi meaning "south", is a colloquial name for South Africa, while some Pan-Africanist political parties prefer the term "Azania".
South Africa contains human-fossil sites in the world. Archaeologists have recovered extensive fossil remains from a series of caves in Gauteng Province; the area, a UNESCO World Heritage site, has been branded "the Cradle of Humankind". The sites include one of the richest sites for hominin fossils in the world. Other sites include Gondolin Cave Kromdraai, Coopers Cave and Malapa. Raymond Dart identified the first hominin fossil discovered in Africa, the Taung Child in 1924. Further hominin remains have come from the sites of Makapansgat in Limpopo Province and Florisbad in the Free State Province, Border Cave in KwaZulu-Natal Province, Klasies River Mouth in Eastern Cape Province and Pinnacle Point and Die Kelders Cave in Western Cape Province; these finds suggest that various hominid species existed in South Africa from about three million years ago, starting with Australopithecus africanus. There followed species including Australopithecus sediba, Homo ergaster, Homo erectus, Homo rhodesiensis, Homo helmei, Homo naledi and modern humans.
Modern humans have inhabited Southern Africa for at least 170,000 years. Various researchers have located pebble tools within the Vaal River valley. Settlements of Bantu-speaking peoples, who were iron-using agriculturists and herdsmen, were present south of the Limpopo River by the 4th or 5th century CE, they displaced and absorbed the original Khoisan speakers, the Khoikhoi and San peoples. The Bantu moved south; the earliest ironworks in modern-day KwaZulu-Natal Province are believed to date from around 1050. The southernmost group was the Xhosa people, whose language incorporates certain linguistic traits from the earlier Khoisan people; the Xhosa reached the Great Fish River, in today's Eastern Cape Province. As they migrated, these larger Iron Age populations
MusicBrainz is a project that aims to create an open data music database, similar to the freedb project. MusicBrainz was founded in response to the restrictions placed on the Compact Disc Database, a database for software applications to look up audio CD information on the Internet. MusicBrainz has expanded its goals to reach beyond a compact disc metadata storehouse to become a structured open online database for music. MusicBrainz captures information about artists, their recorded works, the relationships between them. Recorded works entries capture at a minimum the album title, track titles, the length of each track; these entries are maintained by volunteer editors. Recorded works can store information about the release date and country, the CD ID, cover art, acoustic fingerprint, free-form annotation text and other metadata; as of 21 September 2018, MusicBrainz contained information about 1.4 million artists, 2 million releases, 19 million recordings. End-users can use software that communicates with MusicBrainz to add metadata tags to their digital media files, such as FLAC, MP3, Ogg Vorbis or AAC.
MusicBrainz allows contributors to upload cover art images of releases to the database. Internet Archive provides the bandwidth and legal protection for hosting the images, while MusicBrainz stores metadata and provides public access through the web and via an API for third parties to use; as with other contributions, the MusicBrainz community is in charge of maintaining and reviewing the data. Cover art is provided for items on sale at Amazon.com and some other online resources, but CAA is now preferred because it gives the community more control and flexibility for managing the images. Besides collecting metadata about music, MusicBrainz allows looking up recordings by their acoustic fingerprint. A separate application, such as MusicBrainz Picard, must be used for this. In 2000, MusicBrainz started using Relatable's patented TRM for acoustic fingerprint matching; this feature allowed the database to grow quickly. However, by 2005 TRM was showing scalability issues as the number of tracks in the database had reached into the millions.
This issue was resolved in May 2006 when MusicBrainz partnered with MusicIP, replacing TRM with MusicDNS. TRMs were phased out and replaced by MusicDNS in November 2008. In October 2009 MusicIP was acquired by AmpliFIND; some time after the acquisition, the MusicDNS service began having intermittent problems. Since the future of the free identification service was uncertain, a replacement for it was sought; the Chromaprint acoustic fingerprinting algorithm, the basis for AcoustID identification service, was started in February 2010 by a long-time MusicBrainz contributor Lukáš Lalinský. While AcoustID and Chromaprint are not MusicBrainz projects, they are tied with each other and both are open source. Chromaprint works by analyzing the first two minutes of a track, detecting the strength in each of 12 pitch classes, storing these 8 times per second. Additional post-processing is applied to compress this fingerprint while retaining patterns; the AcoustID search server searches from the database of fingerprints by similarity and returns the AcoustID identifier along with MusicBrainz recording identifiers if known.
Since 2003, MusicBrainz's core data are in the public domain, additional content, including moderation data, is placed under the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0 license. The relational database management system is PostgreSQL; the server software is covered by the GNU General Public License. The MusicBrainz client software library, libmusicbrainz, is licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License, which allows use of the code by proprietary software products. In December 2004, the MusicBrainz project was turned over to the MetaBrainz Foundation, a non-profit group, by its creator Robert Kaye. On 20 January 2006, the first commercial venture to use MusicBrainz data was the Barcelona, Spain-based Linkara in their Linkara Música service. On 28 June 2007, BBC announced that it has licensed MusicBrainz's live data feed to augment their music Web pages; the BBC online music editors will join the MusicBrainz community to contribute their knowledge to the database. On 28 July 2008, the beta of the new BBC Music site was launched, which publishes a page for each MusicBrainz artist.
Amarok – KDE audio player Banshee – multi-platform audio player Beets – automatic CLI music tagger/organiser for Unix-like systems Clementine – multi-platform audio player CDex – Microsoft Windows CD ripper Demlo – a dynamic and extensible music manager using a CLI iEatBrainz – Mac OS X deprecated foo_musicbrainz component for foobar2000 – Music Library/Audio Player Jaikoz – Java mass tag editor Max – Mac OS X CD ripper and audio transcoder Mp3tag – Windows metadata editor and music organizer MusicBrainz Picard – cross-platform album-oriented tag editor MusicBrainz Tagger – deprecated Microsoft Windows tag editor puddletag – a tag editor for PyQt under the GPLv3 Rhythmbox music player – an audio player for Unix-like systems Sound Juicer – GNOME CD ripper Zortam Mp3 Media Studio – Windows music organizer and ID3 Tag Editor. Freedb clients can access MusicBrainz data through the freedb protocol by using the MusicBrainz to FreeDB gateway service, mb2freedb. List of online music databases Making Metadata: The Case of Mus
2010 FIFA World Cup
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the 19th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It took place in South Africa from 11 June to 11 July 2010; the bidding process for hosting the tournament finals was open only to African nations. In 2004, the international football federation, FIFA, selected South Africa over Egypt and Morocco to become the first African nation to host the finals; the matches were played in 10 stadiums in nine host cities around the country, with the opening and final played at the Soccer City stadium in South Africa's largest city, Johannesburg. Thirty-two teams were selected for participation via a worldwide qualification tournament that began in August 2007. In the first round of the tournament finals, the teams competed in round-robin groups of four teams for points, with the top two teams in each group proceeding; these 16 teams advanced to the knockout stage, where three rounds of play decided which teams would participate in the final.
In the final, the European champions, defeated the Netherlands 1–0 after extra time, with Andrés Iniesta's goal in the 116th minute giving Spain their first world title. Spain became the eighth nation to win the tournament and the first European nation to win a World Cup hosted outside its home continent: all previous World Cups held outside Europe had been won by South American nations, they are the only national team since 1978 to win a World Cup after losing a game in the group stage. As a result of their win, Spain represented the World in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup. Host nation South Africa and both 2006 World Cup finalists Italy and France were all eliminated in the first round of the tournament, it was the first time. New Zealand, with their three draws, were the only undefeated team in the tournament, but they were eliminated in the first round. Africa was chosen as the host for the 2010 World Cup as part of a short-lived rotation policy, abandoned in 2007, to rotate the event among football confederations.
Five African nations placed bids to host the 2010 World Cup: Egypt, South Africa and a joint bid from Libya and Tunisia. Following the decision of the FIFA Executive Committee not to allow co-hosted tournaments, Tunisia withdrew from the bidding process; the committee decided not to consider Libya's solo bid as it no longer met all the stipulations laid down in the official List of Requirements. The winning bid was announced by FIFA president Sepp Blatter at a media conference on 15 May 2004 in Zürich. South Africa, which had narrowly failed to win the right to host the 2006 event, was thus awarded the right to host the tournament. Campaigning for South Africa to be granted host status, Nelson Mandela had spoken of the importance of football in his life, stating that while incarcerated in Robben Island prison playing football "made us feel alive and triumphant despite the situation we found ourselves in". With South Africa winning their bid, an emotional Mandela raised the FIFA World Cup Trophy.
During 2006 and 2007, rumours circulated in various news sources that the 2010 World Cup could be moved to another country. Franz Beckenbauer, Horst R. Schmidt and some FIFA executives, expressed concern over the planning and pace of South Africa's preparations. FIFA officials expressed their confidence in South Africa as host, stating that a contingency plan existed only to cover natural catastrophes, as had been in place at previous FIFA World Cups. On 28 May 2015, media covering the 2015 FIFA corruption case reported that high-ranking officials from the South African bid committee had secured the right to host the World Cup by paying US$10 million in bribes to then-FIFA Vice President Jack Warner and to other FIFA Executive Committee members. On 4 June 2015, FIFA executive Chuck Blazer, having co-operated with the FBI and the Swiss authorities, confirmed that he and the other members of FIFA's executive committee were bribed in order to promote the South African 1998 and 2010 World Cup bids.
Blazer stated, "I and others on the Fifa executive committee agreed to accept bribes in conjunction with the selection of South Africa as the host nation for the 2010 World Cup."On 6 June 2015, The Daily Telegraph reported that Morocco had won the vote, but South Africa was awarded the tournament instead. The qualification draw for the 2010 World Cup was held in Durban on 25 November 2007; as the host nation, South Africa qualified automatically for the tournament. As happened in the previous tournament, the defending champions were not given an automatic berth, Italy had to participate in qualification. With a pool of entrants comprising 204 of the 208 FIFA national teams at the time, the 2010 World Cup shares with the 2008 Summer Olympics the record for most competing nations in a sporting event; some controversies arose during the qualifications. In the second leg of the play-off between France and the Republic of Ireland, French captain Thierry Henry, unseen by the referee, handled the ball in the lead up to a late goal, which enabled France to qualify ahead of Ireland, sparking widespread comment and debate.
FIFA rejected a request from the Football Association of Ireland to replay the match, Ireland withdrew a request to be included as an unprecedented 33rd World Cup entrant. As a result, FIFA announced a review into the use of technology or extra officials at the highest level, but decided against the expected fast-tracking of goal-line referee's assistants for the South African tournament. Costa Rica complained over Uruguay's winning goal in the CONMEBOL–CONCACAF playoff, while Egypt and Al
Europe is a Swedish rock band formed in Upplands Väsby in 1979, by vocalist Joey Tempest, guitarist John Norum, bassist Peter Olsson, drummer Tony Reno. They got a major breakthrough in Sweden in 1982 by winning the televised competition "Rock-SM": it was the first time this competition was held, Europe became a larger success than the competition itself. Since their formation, Europe has released eleven studio albums, three live albums, three compilations and twenty-four music videos. Europe rose to international fame in the 1980s with their third album, 1986's The Final Countdown, which has sold over 3 million copies in the United States and 15 million copies worldwide. Europe have sold over 25 million records worldwide; the band has had two top 20 albums on the Billboard 200 chart and two top 10 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Europe went on hiatus in 1992, reunited temporarily for a one-off performance in Stockholm on New Year's Eve 1999 and announced an official reunion in 2003.
Since the band has released six albums, Start from the Dark, Secret Society, Last Look at Eden, Bag of Bones, War of Kings and Walk the Earth. Europe has achieved new attention in the US due to being featured in a GEICO Insurance cable television commercial campaign viewed for many months across the US in 2015-16; the band is influenced by Whitesnake, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy, UFO and Michael Schenker Group. The first incarnation of the band was named Force and came together in 1979, in Upplands Väsby and was integrated by vocalist Joey Tempest, guitarist John Norum, bass guitarist Peter Olsson, drummer Tony Reno. "I remember when we started the band Force we were playing covers in the rehearsal room, because we just wanted to learn our instruments, like all bands," Tempest said, "Then one day I said maybe we should do our own stuff. Nobody had any ideas, so I brought mine into the rehearsal room, and, when we started writing our own stuff."The band sent several demos to record companies, but were told that in order to be published they had to cut their hair and sing in Swedish.
Two years Olsson left the band and was replaced by John Levén. Just a couple of months Levén joined Yngwie Malmsteen's band Rising Force, Malmsteen's former bassist, Marcel Jacob, joined Force; this only lasted for three months, though. In 1982, Tempest's girlfriend entered Force in the Swedish rock talent contest Rock-SM. Competing against 4000 bands, they won the contest thanks to two songs, "In the Future to Come" and "The King Will Return"; the reward was a record deal with Hot Records. Tempest won the individual award for Best Lead Singer, Norum won the award for Best Guitarist. Just before the contest, Force changed their name to Europe. Tempest came up with the name; the self-titled debut album was released the following year, sold well both in Sweden and Japan. The album charted at number 8 in the band's home country and the single "Seven Doors Hotel" became a Top 10 hit in Japan; the second album Wings of Tomorrow was released one year and the single "Open Your Heart" got interest from CBS Records who offered them an international contract in 1985.
"I think one of the most important albums for the band was Wings of Tomorrow," Tempest said, "We were learning how to write songs and John started playing some cool stuff on the guitar. We became a better band and, a good period for the band." Keyboardist Mic Michaeli was soon recruited to play in live concerts, became an official member of the band shortly after. At the same time, Tony Reno was fired because of his lack of motivation and alleged slacking off on rehearsals. Bassist Peter Olsson claims that Reno was replaced on the albums by a drum machine, his replacement was Ian Haugland. In 1985 Europe recorded the soundtrack for the film On the Loose, which gave them the hit "Rock the Night". Several months Joey Tempest was asked to write a song for the charity project Swedish Metal Aid, he wrote "Give a Helping Hand", which would feature the biggest stars of Swedish metal. The income from the sales of the single, produced by Easy Action guitarist Kee Marcello, was donated to the starving people of Ethiopia.
In September 1985, Europe was approached by an executive from Epic Records. They helped; the result was The Final Countdown. Released on 26 May 1986, the album gave the band its international breakthrough, was certified Triple Platinum in the USA and reached number 8 on the Billboard 200 chart; the title track, based on a keyboard riff composed by Tempest as early as 1981-82, was released as the first single and became a worldwide success, peaking at number 1 in 25 countries, such as the UK, France and Germany. The power ballad "Carrie", which peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, "Cherokee" and a re-recorded "Rock the Night" were other hits from the album. Not satisfied with the album's keyboard-dominated production nor the band's commercialized image, John Norum decided to leave Europe in November 1986 to pursue a solo career. "I didn't like the direction the band was going in," Norum said, "We became this teeny-bopper, bubblegum band and I hated that whole image, the spandex, poodle-rock type of thing.
I was more into the heavier, guitar-oriented stuff and it seemed like the keyboards were taking over more and more, we were becoming more commercial. So I decided to leave. I just wanted to move on and do something else."Kee Marcello was asked to
Benedict Saul "Benni" McCarthy is a South African former footballer, the head coach of Cape Town City in South Africa. McCarthy is the South Africa national team's all-time top scorer with 31 goals, he is the only South African to win the UEFA Champions League, doing so with Porto in 2003–04. McCarthy was born in Cape Town and grew up in Hanover Park on the Cape Flats, an area notorious for its high unemployment rate and gang violence, he has two brothers and a sister. His older brother is Jerome McCarthy, a former professional footballer who played for Kaizer Chiefs and Manning Rangers, among other clubs, while his younger brother Mark played football at Franklin Pierce University in the United States. McCarthy began playing at a local side called Young Pirates, managed by his uncles, he joined the youth structures of a local amateur club called Crusaders. At age 17, he was signed by first division club Seven Stars, he is managed by ExtraTime S. L. Playing for Seven Stars, the 18-year-old McCarthy scored 1 goal in 29 matches in the 1995–96 season, followed by another 12 goals in 20 matches, which earned him a transfer to Cape Town Spurs, which two years merged with Seven Stars to form Dutch club Ajax's feeder team, Ajax Cape Town.
In 1997, after an impressive showing at the African Youth Championship and FIFA World Youth Championship in Malaysia, he joined Ajax in the Eredivisie, where he scored nine goals and was crowned champion in his first season. After a successful 1998–99 season, he was sold to Spanish side Celta de Vigo for a transfer fee reported to be over €6 million, at the time the most expensive transfer for a South African player. Although regarded as one of the best African players at the time, McCarthy never established himself as a regular choice for Celta's manager, Víctor Fernández. After two poor seasons at the Galician club, he was loaned to struggling Porto in the 2001–02 season, where he soon rediscovered the form that took him to Europe. At Porto, McCarthy played under the newly appointed coach José Mourinho for an underperforming team that since winning the European Cup in 1987 had never been quite good enough to challenge for the top honours in Europe. However, that would soon change. After representing Bafana Bafana in the 2002 African Nations Cup, where his national side was eliminated in the quarter-finals, McCarthy returned to Porto, where he became the main force behind the team's recovery.
He helped them to third place in the Primeira Liga and automatic qualification for the UEFA Cup by scoring an impressive 12 goals in 11 matches, but Porto's finances did not allow them to keep the player, despite the desire of both sides to continue. In 2002–03, McCarthy therefore returned to Celta, where he spent much of his time on the substitutes' bench as a squad player as Porto captured the Taça de Portugal and the UEFA Cup; when Porto sold striker Hélder Postiga to Tottenham Hotspur ahead of the 2003–04 season, Porto acquired McCarthy for a sum of €7.856 million, For the 2003–04 Primeira Liga season, he earned the Golden Boot award on the season's final matchday with a terrific hat-trick, was instrumental in Porto's run in the 2003–04 UEFA Champions League, which they won. He scored two goals against Manchester United to defeat them in the second round. On 25 July 2006, McCarthy flew out to England to undergo a medical and probable contract signing to join Blackburn Rovers. Three days he signed a four-year contract with Blackburn for a £2.5 million transfer fee.
After a disappointing performance in the side's 3–0 defeat to Portsmouth, McCarthy found the net on his debut at Ewood Park against Everton on 23 August 2006. McCarthy further endeared himself to Rovers fans, scoring a goal on his European debut for the club in a 2–2 against Red Bull Salzburg in the UEFA Cup, scoring another in the return leg, he finished second top scorer in the Premier League in 2006–07 with 18 league goals, as well as 24 in all competitions. The following season got off to a poor start for McCarthy when he was stretchered off in the Premier League opening day win against Middlesbrough. McCarthy was out of action for a few weeks and found first team opportunities limited because the form of new striking arrival Roque Santa Cruz. Despite being limited to substitute appearances, McCarthy did find the net 11 times in all competitions. In the 2008–09 season, McCarthy appeared to be out of favour with new manager Paul Ince, as the club's strike force was strengthened with the arrivals of Carlos Villanueva and Robbie Fowler to join the established Roque Santa Cruz, Jason Roberts and Matt Derbyshire.
However, McCarthy answered these critics by scoring his first goal of the campaign – a 94th-minute equaliser in a Premier League match against Middlesbrough. In all competitions for Blackburn, McCarthy scored. McCarthy completed a move to West Ham United for an undisclosed fee on transfer deadline day, 1 February 2010, he signed a two and a half-year contract, due to run until the summer of 2012. He made his Premier League debut for West Ham against Burnley at Turf Moor in a 2–1 defeat on 6 February 2010, where he sustained an injury which would keep him out for six weeks. In February 2011, having played just 326 minutes of football, making only three starts and failing to score any goals for West Ham, McCarthy was omitted from West Ham's 25-man squad for the remainder of the 2010–11 season, he was offered a £1 million pay-off in exchange for terminating his contract prematurely. In April 2011, McCarthy left West Ham by mutual agreement after the parties agreed to a £1.5 milli
1998 FIFA World Cup
The 1998 FIFA World Cup was the 16th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It was held in France from 10 June to 12 July 1998; the country was chosen as the host nation by FIFA for the second time in the history of the tournament, defeating Morocco in the bidding process. It was the second time that France staged the competition and the ninth time that it was held in Europe. Qualification for the finals began in March 1996 and concluded in November 1997. For the first time in the competition, the group stage was expanded from 24 teams to 32, with eight groups of four. 64 matches were played in 10 stadiums in 10 host cities, with the opening match and final staged at the Stade de France, Saint-Denis. The tournament was won by host country France. France won their first title, becoming the seventh nation to win a World Cup, the sixth to win the tournament on home soil. Croatia, Jamaica and South Africa made their first appearances in the finals. France was awarded the 1998 World Cup on 2 July 1992 by the executive committee of FIFA during a general meeting in Zürich, Switzerland.
They defeated Morocco by 12 votes to 7. Switzerland withdrew; this made France the third country to host two World Cups, after Mexico and Italy in 1986 and 1990 respectively. France hosted the third edition of the World Cup in 1938. England, who hosted the competition in 1966 and won it, were among the original applicants, but withdrew their application in favour of an successful bid to host UEFA Euro 1996. On 4 June 2015, while co-operating with the FBI and the Swiss authorities, Chuck Blazer confirmed that he and other members of FIFA's executive committee were bribed during the 1998 and 2010 World Cups host selection process. Blazer stated that "we facilitated bribes in conjunction with the selection of the host nation for the 1998 World Cup". Since France won the selection process it was thought the bribery came from its bid committee, it transpired that the bribe payment was from the failed Moroccan bid. The qualification draw for the 1998 World Cup finals took place in the Musée du Louvre, Paris on 12 December 1995.
As tournament hosts, France was exempt from the draw. 174 teams from six confederations participated, 24 more than in the previous round. Fourteen countries qualified from the European zone. Ten were determined after group play - the best second-placed team. CONMEBOL and CAF were each given five spots in the final tournament, while three spots were contested between 30 CONCACAF members in the North and Central America and the Caribbean zone; the winner of the Oceanian zone advanced to an intercontinental play-off against the runner-up of the Asian play-off, determined by the two best second placed teams. Four nations qualified for the first time: Croatia, Jamaica and South Africa; the last team to qualify was Iran by virtue of beating Australia in a two-legged tie on 29 November 1997. This was Team Melli's first appearance in the finals since 1978, the last time Tunisia qualified for the tournament. Chile qualified for the first time since 1982, after serving a ban that saw them miss out on the two previous tournaments.
Paraguay and Denmark returned for the first time since 1986. Austria, England and Yugoslavia returned after missing out on the 1994 tournament, with the Balkan team now appearing under the name of FR Yugoslavia. Among the teams who failed to qualify were two-time winners Uruguay; as of 2018, this is the most recent time Austria, Norway, Bulgaria and Jamaica have qualified for a FIFA World Cup finals, as well as the last time Portugal missed out. The highest ranked team not to qualify was Czech Republic, while the lowest ranked team that did qualify was Nigeria; the following 32 teams, shown with final pre-tournament rankings, qualified for the final tournament. France's bid to host the World Cup centered on a national stadium with 80,000 seats and nine other stadiums located across the country; when the finals were awarded in July 1992, none of the regional club grounds were of a capacity meeting FIFA's requirements – namely being able to safely seat 40,000. The proposed national stadium, colloquially referred to as the'Grand stade' met with controversy at every stage of planning.
As Mayor of Paris, Jacques Chirac negotiated a deal with Prime Minister Édouard Balladur to bring the Stade de France – as it was named now, to the commune of Saint-Denis just north of the capital city. Construction on the stadium started in December 1995 and was completed after 26 months of work in November 1997 at a cost of ₣2.67 billion. The choice of stadium locations was drafted from an original list of 14 cities. FIFA and CFO monitored the progress and quality of preparations, culminating in the former providing final checks of the grounds weeks before the tournament commenced. Montpellier was the surprise inclusion from the final list of cities because of its low urban hierarchy in comparison to Strasbourg, who boasted a better hierarchy an
Amsterdamsche Football Club Ajax known as AFC Ajax, Ajax Amsterdam or Ajax, is a Dutch professional football club based in Amsterdam, that plays in the Eredivisie, the top tier in Dutch football. Ajax has been the most successful club in the Netherlands, with 33 Eredivisie titles and 18 KNVB Cups, it has continuously played in the Eredivisie, since its inception in 1956 and, along with Feyenoord and PSV, it is one of the country's "big three" clubs that have dominated that competition. Ajax has been one of the most successful clubs in the world. According to the IFFHS, Ajax were the seventh-most successful European club of the 20th century and The World's Club Team of the Year in 1992. According to German magazine Kicker, Ajax were the second-most successful European club of the 20th century; the club is one of the five teams that has earned the right to keep the European Cup and to wear a multiple-winner badge. In 1972, they completed the continental treble by winning the Eredivisie, KNVB Cup, the European Cup.
It won the first organized UEFA Super Cup in 1972 against Glasgow Rangers. Ajax's last international trophies were the 1995 Intercontinental Cup, 1995 UEFA Super Cup and the 1995 Champions League, where they defeated Milan in the final. In 1995, Ajax was crowned as World Team of the Year by World Soccer magazine. Ajax is one of four teams to win the continental treble and the Intercontinental Cup or Club World Cup in the same season/calendar year. Ajax, Bayern Munich and Manchester United are the five clubs to have won all three major UEFA club competitions, they have won the Intercontinental Cup twice, the 1991–92 UEFA Cup, as well as the Karl Rappan Cup, a predecessor of the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 1962. Ajax plays at the Johan Cruyff Arena, which opened as the Amsterdam ArenA in 1996 and was renamed in 2018, they played at De Meer Stadion and the Amsterdam Olympic Stadium. Ajax was founded in Amsterdam on 18 March 1900; the club achieved promotion to the highest level of Dutch football in 1911 and had its first major success in 1917, winning the KNVB Beker, the Netherlands' national cup.
The following season, Ajax became national champion for the first time. The club defended its title in 1918–19, becoming the only team to achieve an unbeaten season in the Netherlands Football League Championship. Throughout the 1920s, Ajax was a strong regional power, winning the Eerste Klasse West division in 1921, 1927 and 1928, but could not maintain its success at national level; this changed in the 1930s, with the club winning five national championships, making it the most successful Dutch team of the decade. Ajax won its second KNVB Cup in 1942–43, an eighth Dutch title in 1946–47, the last season the club was managed by Englishman Jack Reynolds, who, up to this point, had overseen all of its national championship successes as well as its 1917 KNVB Cup win. In 1956, the first season of the Netherlands' new professional league, the Eredivisie, was played with Ajax participating as a founding member; the Amsterdam club became the first national champions under the new format and made its debut in the European Champion Clubs' Cup the following year, losing to Hungarian champions Vasas SC 6–2 on aggregate at the quarter-final stage.
The team were again Eredivisie champions in 1960 and won a third KNVB Cup in 1961. In 1965, Rinus Michels, who had played for the club between 1946 and 1958, was appointed manager of Ajax, implementing his philosophy of Total Football, to become synonymous with both Ajax and the Netherlands national team. A year earlier, Johan Cruyff, who would go on to become the greatest Dutch footballer of all-time, made his debut. Between them and Cruyff led Ajax through the most successful period in its history, winning seven Eredivisie titles, four KNVB Cups and three European Cups. Ajax won the Dutch championship in 1966, 1967 and 1968, reached the 1969 European Cup final, losing to Milan. During the 1966–67 season, Ajax scored a record 122 goals in an Eredivisie season and won the KNVB Cup to achieve its first league and cup double. In 1969–70, Ajax won a fourth Dutch league championship and second league and cup double in five seasons, winning 27 out of 34 league matches and scoring 100 goals; the 1970–71 season saw Ajax retain the KNVB Cup and reach the 1971 European Cup final, where they defeated Panathinaikos 2–0 with goals from Dick van Dijk and Arie Haan to become continental champions for the first time, with Cruyff being named European Footballer of the Year.
After this success, Michels departed to become manager of Barcelona and was replaced by the Romanian Ștefan Kovács. In Kovács' first season, Ajax completed a treble of the European Cup, the Eredivisie and a third consecutive KNVB Cup; the following season, the team beat Argentine club Independiente to win the 1972 Intercontinental Cup and retained their Eredivisie and European Cup titles, becoming the first club to win three consecutive European Cups since Real Madrid in the 1950s. In 1973, Michels' Barcelona broke the world transfer record to bring Cruyff to Catalonia. Kovács departed to become manager of the France national team, signalling the end of this period of international success. In 1976–77, Ajax won its first domestic championship in four seasons and recorded a double of the Eredivisie and KNVB Cup two years later; the early 1980s saw the return of Johan Cruyff to the club, as well as the emergence of young players Marco van Basten and Frank Rijkaard. The team won back-to-back Eredivisie ti