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South Africa: The World Cup is here

The countdown is still on with the days drawing so close for Africa’s time on the sporting world scene. The interest all over world is growing.

The 2010WorldCupFifa Blog captures Danny Jordaan’s words moments before launching into the 50-day festivities:

In just 50 days time we begin what I believe will be one of our most important defining moments, the 2010 World Cup. This defining moment will last a full month, a moment where the attention of the world will be nowhere but right here in South Africa…”The same South Africa the world once called a miracle nation when in 1994 we made a peaceful transition to democracy, defying all the sceptics. The world has heard many more stories about us since then, sometimes more negative than positive, but this World Cup gives all South Africans the opportunity to show the world who we really are sixteen years into our democracy.

Donnette E Davis has some interesting observations about the low number of foreign fans attendint the event:

With 50 days to go before kick-off, football fever is growing in South Africa but the global economic crisis, the tournament’s high cost as a long haul destination and fears of violent crime have reduced the numbers of foreign fans

The DispatchOnlineBlogs,reports how Buffalo City’s East Londoners were led by their Executive Mayor Zukisa Faku in celebrating 50 days to the event even though they are not hosting any teams:

..Zukisa Faku was in attendance wearing her Bafana Bafana football shirt. Faku was in high spirits and encouraged citizens to get behind football in the city, while also making a valiant attempt at learning the 2010 “Diski Dance”…“Join us along with the chorus of soccer directors in the country in celebrating 50 days to the start of the 2010 World Cup,” Faku said.

She goes on to say:

The spirits of our people are not dampened by the challenges we have encountered. We need to stand tall and show the football bosses that we could live up to their expectations if they should have a change of heart and consider us for a role in the upcoming soccer extravaganza.

Dissol at MyDigitalLife.co.za says that the world has been experiencing a period of bad luck leading up to the event:

We have had all sorts of really bad luck leading up to the event – the global credit crunch, the shooting at the Confed Cup, political intrigue, bad press, and even a volcano exploding in Iceland causing the European airspace to be closed down (something that neither Bin Laden or Hitler could pull off!!)

Dissol reminds us at the time when most people thought that South Africa was trying to do the impossible:

Remember just 4 years ago when so many people here, and overseas were telling us that what South Africa was trying to do was impossible? Remember the scare stories about the event being moved to Australia, or elsewhere, because we would never finish? We have pulled off the most amazing build projects, and that has been recognised all around the world. Already we have impressed other professionals around the world with the way that the impossible has been pulled off…. In 50 days the event starts…a few short weeks after that, the teams will leave…and FIFA will move on, quite a bit richer… But we will be left with the legacy. We will remember the event. Elsewhere in the world people still talk about “being there” or “part of” different events such as World Cups, and Olympic games. We will have that…and it is doubtful we would ever get the FIFA games back here in any of our lifetimes… People born next year can never say they were here for the World Cup.

Sinlung says has 50 reasons to look forward to the event:

Reason #8: Timing of the matches. No need to put the alarm clock on for early morning kick offs, with games starting at 12.30pm, 3pm and 7.30pm. Should England make the final four, all but two of their games will be held at weekends, maximising marketing opportunities and audience figures.
Or reason no.26;
…Real fans have the chance to see the play. Fifa's unprecedented decision to allow surplus tickets to be sold in shops and supermarkets will be beneficial to the atmosphere at even the smallest insignificant group games. Tournament rules stipulating tickets could only be sold in ballots were lifted following poor sales and anything that limits corporate sales and lets real fans attend games is a good thing for the tournament.

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