Ladies and gentlemen it’s here! The countdown is on and we are about to cross the psychological number of 100 days left to go. FIFA Soccer World Cup has become the most awaited sports event in recent history not just because of its magnitude but because it comes to the world’s most colourful continent – Africa!
While the Western media still doubts South Africa’s capability to hold the tournament and always throwing jibes at the continent, the South African authorities are ready to make a buzz of this as 2nd March counts exactly 100 days to the start of this magnanimous event.
What should South Africa do to convince the world that it is ready?:
I have had to ask myself, what else will South Africa do to convince the world that it is not only ready, but capable of hosting and hosting well, the World Cup?
The countdown, therefore, has nothing to do with the readiness of the teams, rather it tends to sensitise us to the greatest single sport spectacle on earth. And in this wise, the South Africans can be assured of my vote. The South Africans have so woven life round the World Cup that long after the competition had gone, (just one month) the legacy that will be left behind will be awesome.
The BlaBla Blog puts it into perspective (albeit more practical) by focusing on the ‘fly the flag for 2010 in South Africa event which is a celebration of this important milestone,
2 March is therefore earmarked as a day on which South Africans, here and abroad, are called upon to demonstrate their excitement for the tournament and to display their passion for the country and the beautiful game
In an interesting survey from the South African Road Safety blog, the figures show that 85 % of the South Africans believe the country’s ready to host the tournament:
a record high (85%) of South Africans supporting the preparation ahead of the World Cup has surfaced in African Response’s latest 2010 Barometer – measuring perceptions of readiness ahead of the World Cup in around the major metropolitans in South Africa
However, South Africans are cognisant of the fact that there is still work to be done ahead of the World Cup and 61% agree that we need to focus on policing and security if our visitors are to leave our shores having had a good experience in our country
The SouthAfrica WorldCupBlog was more satirical in its post titled – Here come the fat cats of FIFA…:
FIFA President Sepp Blatter joined many other dignitaries for a 100-day countdown bash in Durban. Local Organizing Committee Chief Executive Danny Jordaan will be present along with Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe. Other participating celebrities include Jay Jay Okocha, Roger Milla, Mark Fish, and Hossam Hassan.
It also highlights the issues still grappling the organisers especially on the issue of the infrastructure in particular the stadium(s):
The latest concerns surround the quality of playing surfaces that are available at both the host stadiums and at some of the training bases chosen by the participating teams.”… The fields were boggy and saturated so the English FA contracted Richard Hayden, from the Sports Turf Research Institute to work on improving their condition. He did such a good job that FIFA signed him up to work on all the problematic pitches around the training camps.
According to Soccerway.com, South Africa is still wooing fans with 100 days remaining:
President Jacob Zuma in his state of the nation address urged locals to buy more tickets and to support the games to honour former president Nelson Mandela, who lobbied to bring the World Cup here. Mandela was central in assisting the country to win the rights to host this great event. We therefore have to make the World Cup a huge success in his honour,” said Zuma. “The infrastructure, security and logistics arrangements are in place to ensure a successful tournament.
“We will deliver a great World Cup,” declares The Times Online blog:
The rising excitement across the nation is palpable and South Africa is about to show the world what Africa is capable of doing. We are a nation with major social challenges, but we will deliver a great World Cup
Finally BushRadio’s blog discusses the events arranged to mark the occasion:
The deputy president will then join a major public celebration at the Durban city hall where a range of festivities will provide a foretaste of the colour and energy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament,”
Marking the day also Bafana Bafana will play host to neighbours Namibia on Wednesday evening, kick-off at 20h30. The hosts go into the International Friendly in good form after 6-2 and 3-0 wins over Swaziland and Zimbabwe respectively.