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The full Free Lions World Cup package

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

With only 55 days until the World Cup kicks off in Johannesburg in June, we thought it a good time to round up all the work we’ve been doing in the lead-up to South Africa 2010, because we’ve been beavering away for months, now, and things are starting to come to a head. Prepare to be dazzled by the array of information on offer for England fans this summer – all of it FREE.

If you’re going to South Africa this summer, we’ve got one or two things up our sleeve that just might be of interest to you, but that’s not to say we’re forgetting the fans who are watching back home.

St George’s Day seemed like as good a day as any to launch our South Africa 2010 Guidebook, so from 23rd April the 150-page full-colour guidebook will be available for free to all fans. To get your copy – on a first come, first served basis – simply download the voucher that will appear on the FSF World Cup website from 23rd April, and take it along to your local branch of the Nationwide Building Society, official sponsors of the England team, where it can be exchanged for a guidebook.

But that’s not the only piece of summer reading we’ll have for you – our Nationwide Fans Embassy team will be out in force in South Africa, producing a copy of Free Lions (the ubiquitous free England fanzine) for every game.

We celebrated our 100th edition of Free Lions at the Egypt game at Wembley in March, and we’ll have two more editions at the pre-World Cup friendly matches against Mexico and Japan. So you can look forward to receiving issue 103 in Rustenburg for the USA game, issue 104 in Cape Town for the match against Algeria, and issue 105 in Port Elizabeth for the Slovenia game. We sincerely hope we’ll be distributing issue 109 around Soccer City on 11th July, but we can’t promise anything.

For fans in South Africa who might need assistance, advice or support but who can’t physically come to the Fans’ Embassy, we’ll be operating our 24-hour telephone helpline as usual. The familiar helpline number of +44 7956 12 13 14 will be operational, but to make things cheaper and easier, we’ll also be operating a local South African number thanks to the support of our friends at official World Cup sponsor MTN – so you can also contact us on 0785 297 410.

Speaking of helping to keep things cheaper and easier, we’ll be offering more free help, in the form of our free SMS updates. They’ll include any vital news about traffic holdups, where to access the Nationwide FSF Fans’ Embassy, changes to schedules, new services available to fans, etc. We will also send out any emergency notifications from the British High Commission in South Africa, and any news from the Football Association regarding ticketing arrangements and availability.

All you have to do is register on arrival in South Africa by texting the word UPDATES to 30763.

Even better, MTN have provided us with free South African SIM cards to distribute among England fans. Now you can avoid having to pay expensive international roaming rates to keep in touch with your mates while in South Africa – get yourself one of these free MTN SIM cards, register it and top it up when you arrive, and enjoy local call and text rates for the duration of your stay. To get your free SIM card, simply email your name and address to [email protected], and we’ll stick one straight in the post to you.

If you’re not going to South Africa but still want to feel a part of the tournament, then there’s more ways of staying in touch with all the latest World Cup-related news from the FSF. We’ve got a dedicated World Cup website ( up and running, which if you haven’t already stuck in your bookmarks then shame on you.  You’ll be able to sign up to RSS feeds for our news and blogs on there, meaning you get updates straight to your inbox when new content becomes available.

With the latest news, blogs, pictures and updates from our team on the ground during the tournament, as well as from our team back in the office in Blighty, you’ll get a real flavour for what’s going on. Also, don’t forget our free e-newsletter, E-Lions, either. It’s easy to sign up for it – just use the box on the left. As well as news updates, E-Lions also contains competitions to win some fabulous prizes (and some more modest ones too, sometimes), and as it’s free, there’s no reason not to sign up for it really.

Supplementing all that, the latest additions to our communications armoury are the social networking sites of Facebook and Twitter, where we’ll also be keeping people up-to-date with developments, running competitions and generally talking World Cup-related nonsense. Sign up to our Facebook page ( below, or visit our twitter feed @FSF_FreeLions.

All that, and there’s still nearly two months to go. We can’t wait!

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Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund


  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • Pledgeball
  • SD Europe