News / Africa

    FIFA Praises World Cup Host South Africa

    Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer eyes the ball shot by England player Frank Lampard before goal was disallowed during 2010 World Cup round of 16 soccer match, 27 Jun 2010
    Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer eyes the ball shot by England player Frank Lampard before goal was disallowed during 2010 World Cup round of 16 soccer match, 27 Jun 2010

    Senior officials of football's governing body have praised South Africa for the just concluded World Cup.  South African officials are also expressing satisfaction, saying they hope to use the event to foster unity and social development.  

    The president of the international football federation, Sepp Blatter, Monday complimented the South African government for meeting its obligations and the South African people for their warm hospitality during the World Cup.

    "I would also like to give a compliment to Africa as a continent because Africa has proven that really they can organize this World Cup," he said.  "They can organize a big competition.  And as I said at the very beginning, it is a question of trust and confidence."

    The month-long tournament ended Sunday night with Spain's national team hoisting the coveted trophy after defeating the Netherlands, 1-0.

    Football's world governing body, or FIFA, said the 64 matches drew more than three million fans, the third largest turnout after the United States in 1994 and Germany four years ago.

    More than six million people visited fan parks during the matches, and an estimated 750 million television viewers around the world watched the final.

    Critics had feared that South Africa's high crime rate and lack of public transportation would mar the event, but it went off without any major problems.

    FIFA Secretary-General Jerome Valke praised the security forces for their work.

    "They have done even more than what people were expecting," he said. "I mean there was not a single incident, nothing which put at risk the World Cup during all 32 days."

    The most serious incident occurred when some 600 fans were unable to attend the quarter-final match in Durban because of bad weather and congestion at its new airport.

    Several dozen cases of petty crime were reported, including several robberies of visiting football teams and journalists.  These were dealt with by special courts which handed out severe penalties to the guilty.

    No cases of murder, rape or hooliganism were reported.

    Asked about the bomb attack in Uganda that killed more than 70 people who were watching the World Cup final, Blatter said it could not be directly linked to the event but should be condemned regardless of its motive.

    South African President Jacob Zuma went on national television to congratulate the nation.

    "We did it.  It is an emotional moment for this 16-year-old nation which has only recently emerged from the horrors of apartheid," he said. "We have been able to show the world that we have what it takes to compete with the best, united in our diversity."

    He noted that the government had worked with the private sector in organizing the World Cup and said the experience would help efforts to boost employment, education and health services.

    "We are sad that it is ending, but we are smiling because it went so well," he said.  "Yesterday was the final, but it was definitely not the end.  It was the beginning of a better future for South Africa and Africa."

    He praised the spirit of the foreign fans, saying the Cup was the start of a lifelong friendship and invited them all to return.

    You May Like

    Vietnam Urges US to Lift Lethal Weapons Ban Amid S. China Sea Tensions

    US president’s upcoming visit to Vietnam underscores strength of relationship, and lifting embargo would reflect that trust, ambassador says

    Are US Schools Turning a Blind Eye to Radical Qatari Preachers?

    Parade of radical Islamist clerics using mosque at Qatar’s Education City draws mounting criticism for American universities that maintain satellite branches there

    Why Islamic State Is Down But Not Out

    Despite loss of territory, group’s ferocious attacks over past three months seen as testimony to its continued durability and resourcefulness

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroadi
    X
    May 02, 2016 1:36 PM
    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora