U.S. Has Tougher Qualifier Against Panama but Earns a Point
37 minutes ago
My journey from Brooklyn, New York January 4, 2007 to the World Cup Final match July 11, 2010 in South Africa. How will I get there? I have no idea. Join me as I travel around Africa, write a book, make some friends and watch the beautiful game!
A little over two months ago, the man who led the international campaign that helped portray a positive image of Germany ahead of the 2006 Soccer World Cup blew into town and promptly complained about South Africa.
Mike de Vries, the MD of the 2006 World Cup branding campaign, urged South Africans to take the initiative and break down perceptions about the country’s ability to successfully host the 2010 tournament.
De Vries said the 2010 local organising committee had to assume control of its public relations and dispel doubts about South Africa that still persisted in Europe and Asia.
He said the European media, especially, was having a field day at our expense and regularly ran stories about how South Africa was on course to reduce the World Cup to an embarrassing circus.
So, organising committee CEO Danny Jordaan was in London this week again to defend South Africa.
Apparently, an overzealous hack voiced fears “South Africa’s crime problem” might affect the cup and Jordaan had to begin the defence offensive.
Jordaan explained that many rugby, cricket, soccer and other sporting codes from Europe had visited South Africa without any incident over the past few years.
Hell, two of the biggest soccer stars in the world, Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho and Cameroon super striker Samuel Eto’o, were here only a few weeks ago, but nobody feared for their safety because they came with a club.
So why should the supposedly escalating crime always be a concern where the Soccer World Cup is concerned and not when other sporting codes are involved?
And curiously, “South Africa’s crime” does not seem to have affected the tourism stats as, according to Jordaan, the tourist figures have grown by an average 11percent over the past three years.
So, while Europe would have the world believe they’ll be raped, robbed at gunpoint, hijacked, kidnapped and goodness knows what else should they dare come to South Africa during the World Cup, there’s no problem if they come here at any other time of the year.
What utter rubbish!
It’s really a sad day when Jordaan even needs to keep explaining this to the world.
From where I’m standing, there are times when it almost feels as if we have to keep apologising for having the nerve to win the rights to host this thing.
That is probably the reason why reports from London on Jordaan’s visit had a reluctant tone of acceptance and grudgingly admitted, to a certain extent that insinuations of a crisis in South Africa’s preparations for the 2010 event were grossly exaggerated.