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 Britian’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 (africasacountry.com). “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.