World Cup organizers have agreed to include more South African performers at the kickoff concert, reacting to pressure from the country's Ministry of Arts and Culture.
The soccer tournament's local organizing committee, the ministry and the Creative Workers Union said in a joint statement Wednesday that "all three parties agreed on the need for the inclusion of additional South African artists in the lineup for the concert at Soweto's Orlando Stadium" on June 10.
The statement followed a two-hour meeting between chief organizer Danny Jordaan, South African Arts and Culture Minister Lulu Xingwana and Mabutho Sithole of the Creative Workers Union.
FIFA announced last month that international acts Alicia Keys, Shakira, Black Eyed Peas and John Legend would headline the World Cup concert, which will be staged the day before the tournament begins and is organized by the Los Angeles-based Control Room company.
'We've always maintained that [the] incredibly talented South African and African music industry will play a major part in the tournament's off-field success and character.' —World Cup organizer Danny Jordaan
The announcement caused an outcry from the music industry in South Africa, which felt it was being ignored for the sake of international appeal.
The industry said there were not enough local acts despite the presence of South African folk singer Vusi Mahlasela and rock acts BLK JKS and the Parlotones.
Aware of its global audience, world soccer body FIFA and local organizers stressed last week that the concert must have an "international context."
"Yes, it's an African World Cup played in South Africa," FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke said. "[But] it's an international event where you have six African teams and 26 non-African teams. It is a worldwide event.
"It has to be a concert with international singers, and that's what we will do," Valcke added. "I'm sorry, but that's the definition you have to have."
On Wednesday, Xingwana said she was satisfied with concessions made by the organizers, which allow the South African Music Promoters Association to work with Control Room, which is run by Emmy Award-winning producer Kevin Wall.
"I'm satisfied with the outcome of this meeting. It is to the benefit of arts and culture in this country," Xingwana said.
Jordaan said the organizing committee supports South African artists.
"We've always maintained that [the] incredibly talented South African and African music industry will play a major part in the tournament's off-field success and character," Jordaan said.
The joint statement also said the three-hour concert "should be more representative and reflect gender and demographic concerns."
No names will be announced until contracts are signed with the artists, it said.
The Ministry of Arts had responded to FIFA's initial lineup by calling it unacceptable and saying South African artists had been "marginalized in their own motherland."
"It is not fair that mainly artists from outside the country and the continent should welcome our guests," the March 26 statement from the ministry said. "The South African government has declared that this is an African World Cup, since this is the first Soccer World Cup on African soil."