The Final Countdown

For those doubting South African can host a successful World Cup, the country has a long history of successfully hosting big tournaments.

At least one year before the tournament, English fans get ready to the World Cup in South Africa (Some Driftwood / Flickr CC).

With less than 50 days to go before the start of the 2010 World Cup, Kenya-based journalist and author Steve Bloomfield has done a decent piece for the UK’s “The Independent” on the countdown to the tournament. My judgment is of course not clouded by him asking me for my opinion:

‘… So far, the expected boost to tourism and foreign investment has yet to materialise, in part because influential football figures and journalists in Europe still have strong doubts that South Africa can host a successful tournament. Few of those concerns are valid, says Sean Jacobs, a South African professor of international relations and an avid football fan who writes a blog on culture and Africa ( “South Africa has a long history of successfully hosting big tournaments. The Rugby World Cup was one year after the 1994 elections when things were much more tenuous. Whites were still waving the old flag, some were still armed and threatening war.” Since then, South Africa has successfully hosted the cricket World Cup, British Lions rugby tours and football’s Africa Cup of Nations. Last year, it hosted cricket’s Indian Premier League after the organisers decided it wasn’t safe enough to host it in India …’

Read the piece – which also quotes Peter Alegi, the football historian and my partner in the blog Football is Coming Home, – here.

Further Reading

We are here

As the slaughter continues unabated in Gaza, it is abundantly clear that both the present and history are often written by the victors.