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

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs