The Euro attitude: South Africa not ready to host 2010 World Cup

It had to come sooner than later. The elation that swept through South Africa and the African continent after having won the 2010 World Cup with the chance to showcase the new Africa after decades of apartheid in South Africa and the nascent new democracies of many African countries (at least 15 governments after years of despotic rule), has given way to a familiar foe, western skepticism, who are of the opinion that South Africa will have to put in a Herculean effort to pull off the largest spectacle in the world successfully. In fact, there is a widespread belief that other venues are being contemplated, to be on the safe side.
We have to remember that the 2006 World Cup would have been held in South Africa if it had not been for a certain pusillanimous Charles Dempsey of the Oceania Football Federation, the delegate who was pressurized by many European federations, including the German Football Federation and the German media. Dempsey reportedly received threats to his and his family’s life. His was a certain vote for South Africa (as instructed by his Federation)but he chose to abstain and the final count was 12-11 in favor of Germany. His vote would have deadlocked the count and Sepp Blatter with his tiebreaker would have voted for South Africa as widely believed. Instead, the continent of Africa experienced one of its bitterest moments of rejection, reflected in the words of Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki.
Now we have the same bloc or cabal that are casting aspersions on South Africa’s ability to hold the 2010 World Cup. It is a familiar refrain echoed of all developing countries that are given the rare opportunity to host an event of this magnitude. South Africa does not have the infrastructure, the roads, the airports, hotels, and the stadia to host such a huge event. It has a high murder rate that will frighten off soccer fans. Corruption is endemic in government and is a victim to complex tribal politics. Unspoken in many of the reports that express this skepticism but which might just become an issue with the Euro cabal is the specter of AIDS and its prevalence in South Africa. This will be touted as an economic issue, i.e., South Africa should concentrate its resources on containing this problem, before becoming a health issue to the many tourists who will come to South Africa to watch the World Cup. Look for all these health advisories to come out in the next couple of years that will warn tourists of anything and eveything from the Hanta virus to the guineaworm.
So it is no wonder that these skeptics are considering alternate venues like Australia, the USA, and Mexico. Sepp Blatter being the consummate politician is up for elections in 2007. He needs the votes of the 57 African countries to continue on. Look for him to bag those votes and then start sounding like a doubting thomas if South Africa has a few hiccoughs on the way to hosting the World Cup.
This dog eat dog mentality is not just prevalent in this North- South divide, but it is true even for less fortunate European countries. Exactly two years ago, Greece was being pilloried by the IOC for not being upto the mark in preparation for the Summer Olympics. But Greece pulled it off and magnificently, I might add.
The IHT has more >>

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8 comments on “The Euro attitude: South Africa not ready to host 2010 World Cup
  1. South Africa has 8 good (rugby) venues, and the right timezone (for European TV schedules) and will also offer a much cooler climate for the 2010 World Cup (being winter in the Southern Hemisphere).
    However, in no way will it be ready or able to cope with the projected influx of football fans.
    I was rapt when Charlie Dempsey ignored political correctness (and Sepp Blatters electioneering) and voted for common sense for the 2006 venue.
    I travelled to Germany and loved it – the perfect fans World Cup.
    I will not travel to South Africa in 2010 – despite having visited the country previously to follow the mighty All Blacks rugby side.
    South Africa will be a nightmare for football fans – it will not cope.
    (oh and the Olympics is small fry compared to the World Cup in terms of fan numbers and media volume – as I’m sure you well know).

  2. I was born and raised in South Africa and you guys are all hopelessly ignorant.. by reading really extreme websites. (Americans aren’t even that bad…) South Africa has very rural areas which, if you come, none of you will have the chance of seeing, and very modern, 1st world urban areas which are probably more advanced than your own towns. The crime isn’t as bad as some make it out to be and you will NOT get raped and killed here!!! I’m a female living on my own and NOTHING has happened to me. Rather go to websites like: instead!

  3. why are you all so drenched in negativity….you bunch of stiff necked fools..south africa offers a unique diverse experience…summed up as “a whole continent in one country”….so they face challenges…sure just like everywhere else…amazing even with high levles of crime, to me it seems safer than being in the middle of the masses at the london olympics….huh!….south africa may not be first world,…but even with it’s so called “limited infrastructure…the country is still impressive, can and will deliver…….being entertained by football is secondary to the thrill of the experience by just being,…there!….soak it in,…it will undoubtedly be a lifetime experience…….

    Is run by a guy called Jan Lamprecht, I worked with him and he is the conspiracy theorist from hell… It is not a true reflection of this country…
    Is tabloid journalism at it’s worst. Most of the images are taken from and the stories are often stolen from other countries. He is just trying to make himself famous…
    SA will be ready to host the world cup and we will do it fantastically…. Roll on 2010…

  5. I am a South African born and bred (1963) and I have had to recently emigrate because of the horrific crime situation. I narowly escaped death a number of times. I was also poisoned.
    My friends have all emigrated to Australia, NZ and Canada me in England.
    The South African media is controlled by the big finanacial institutions and the government.
    the government has launched a massive bulls**t campaign for 2010.
    They have massive wealth behind them and this will result in many deaths.
    If you dont believe me go ahead and find out the hard way.

  6. So the World Cup came and went, not a single serious incident, relatively crime free apart from a few petty crimes. It is billed as one of the best ever…
    So, an apology from the naysayers above please?
    Didn’t think so…
    Ah, I love the egg in the face bit, just love it.

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