Worldwide fan parks given go-ahead

CAPE TOWN - World Cup fan parks will be set up in seven cities outside South Africa to offer free communal viewing of matches during next year's tournament.

Football's world governing body FIFA said on Wednesday it would offer official viewing areas in famous tourist spots like Sydney Harbour and Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach.

There will also be fan parks in London, Paris, Mexico City, Rome and Berlin, where more than a million people were estimated to have flocked to a giant street party after Germany finished third at the 2006 World Cup.

All nine South African host cities will also set up parks for supporters seeking to watch World Cup games on giant screens. The tournament runs from June 11-July 11 next year.