South Africa’s was best World Cup ever: FIFA

Thursday, September 23, 2010

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa hosted the “best World Cup ever”, FIFA World Cup chief organiser Jerome Valcke said Thursday.

Speaking after a wrap-up meeting in Johannesburg of the board of South Africa’s 2010 local organising committee (LOC) Valcke said South Africa had set “the bench mark for future World Cups”.

“This was rated as the best World Cup ever. It was a fantastic success and Brazil who host the 2014 know they will have a lot of work to do to match South Africa,” he was quoted by the South African Press Association as saying.

“But we have time to help Brazil host as good if not better event,” he added.

Danny Jordaan, the chief executive of the LOC, estimated the June-July World Cup had added 9.3 billion rand to South Africa’s economy.

The figure contrasts with the 38 billion rand in World Cup revenue Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan predicted in July.

South Africa spent around 38 billion rand building on infrastructure to host the tournament, including five new stadiums.

Although some people have questioned whether the spending was justified, given the high levels of poverty in South Africa, most South Africans are proud of having successfully hosted the mammoth tournament.

In a FIFA survey of 1,000 South Africans, 91 percent said they felt their country was more unified after the tournament than before, while 87 percent said they were more confident than ever before in their nation’s capabilities.

World Cup visitors also came to see South Africa through new eyes after a virtually-crime-free tournament.

FIFA said that 83 percent of the 1,480 visitors it polled during the World Cup planned to return to South Africa in the future, while 94 percent said they would happily recommend South Africa for a visit to their friends and family.

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