FIFA World Cup, Malta.Much excitement is already building in the run up to the FIFA World Cup being held next month in South Africa. The tournament kicks off with South Africa vs Mexico at 4pm on 11th June, in a game being held at Soccer City, Soweto, the famous township to the south-west of Johannesburg which was once a hotbed of opposition to Apartheid in the Rainbow Nation.

As South Africa is in the same timezone as Malta during summer (GMT +2), matches played can be enjoyed sociably. Games are played at 1.30pm (on days with three games), 4pm and 8.30pm.

There will be many venues showing World Cup 2010 games on the big screen, and this is often a preferable option to staying at home. All across the island, bars will be full to capacity with fans – both tourists and locals – watching their country play. For people living in Malta in the north, the tourist resorts have many bars where you will be able to watch games whilst having a drink or two. In Mellieha, there are four main sports bars: Billys Bar and Billys Music Club are next to each other on Main Street, 120 bar is opposite the Maritim Hotel on Gorg Borg Olivier Street, and Reflections Sports Bar is in Misrah is-Salib, just behind Shoppers Supermarket.

In Bugibba/Qawra, there is a myriad of bars and pubs that will be showing live games. Fat Harry’s and Rookies are both popular sports venues just off the main square. On Triq Halel you can find O’Reilly’s Irish Pub that also shows games on the big screen. Bugibba/Qawra will probably have the most venues showing World Cup games.

Further South in Sliema, there are a number of bars that will be showing games. Two of the main ones are Black Gold and Portside, both situated on The Strand.

Football is a really popular sport in Malta, so you can expect to find live games being shown at even the smallest village bars and all the band clubs.