Wednesday, May 20, 2009

How Important is the Confederations Cup?

386 days until the start of the 2010 World Cup ...

More importantly, 25 days until South Africa's dry run - the 2009 Confederations Cup.

So how important is the Confederations Cup?
Is it just a dry run for the host country?

Or is it a prestigious football championship, to be fought over like a continental title?

Dr. Nikolaus Eberl of, 'the B2B site of choice in South Africa,' thinks the Cup is mostly about impressions.

At a recent media briefing in Johannesburg, FIFA TV director Niclas Ericson said a lot hinged on the success of the Confederations Cup and how well South Africa does in this tournament. "The impression about SA that visitors will make after the conclusion of the Confederations Cup will be the one that will stay with the international community until the world cup next year.

"We expect that there will be a few problems here and there and we welcome criticism from visitors. That is what the tournament is for and hopefully all those mistakes are rectified ahead of the world cup. But there is only room for small mistakes and not big ones," explained Ericson.
Eberl tries to tie this win with the last incantation of the Confederations Cup, Germany's 2005 dry run of the successful 2006 tournament.

What were the pluses and minuses of that tournament?

On the plus side, the tournament was a ticketing success, with 92% of the tickets sold.
The quality of the football was good and host country Germany did well, finishing in 3rd place.

The minuses?
  • During the final, which saw Brazil pitted against Argentina, the roof of the Frankfurt stadium was leaking, which caused huge embarrassment, as rain showers were gushing down and the corner section of the pitch was hit badly.

  • Security breaches caused German LOC boss Franz Beckenbauer sleepless nights, as more than once so-called ‘runners' jumped the fences and sprinted towards their heroes, in particular Ronaldinho and German goalie Jens Lehman, leaving many observers to wonder whether the German police was up to the task of guaranteeing player safety.

  • Ambush branding was a hot topic during the 2005 Confed Cup, when a German automobile service supplier, TüV Süd, launched a branded zeppelin that circled the Nuremberg stadium repeatedly, causing major embarrassment for the organizers.
At the end of the 2005 tournament, the media's verdict was: “Participants and fans alike ended up unanimous on one thing. The FIFA Confederations Cup Germany 2005 left them wanting more - more football and more thrills."

Can the 2009 incantation do the same? We'll find out, starting in 25 days ...


Kevin Elder said...

I think that for the teams involved the Confederations Cup matters the most to New Zealand. They are in a weak group and they need to progress out of it if they are going to have any confidence going into their showdown with an Asian playoff team in October.

Gerald said...

I am concerned that the Bus Rapid Transport System being implemented in Johannesburg will be stopped because of Taxi Unions and Cosatu.
The Unions are trying their best to bring Johannesburg to it's knees. If the new Government bows to their demands the whole 2010 World Cup will be jeopardised and the country will look like the usual African Countries who can't get anything together. Just hoping that common sense prevails. The whole image of South Africa depends on it!