South Africans vow to remain good hosts

2010-06-23 12:20

Despite the disappointment of being eliminated in the first round,

South Africans were walking tall today after a valiant victory over the French

and rooting for Ghana to keep the continent’s home World Cup hopes alive.

Ghana are the only African side to have won a game so far and the

only one of the “six pack” of teams given a chance of saving the continent’s

blushes by making it through to the knock-out stages.

South Africa, Cameroon and Nigeria are already out of the picture,

Algeria and Ivory Coast are struggling with one point apiece.

“I’m now going to support Ghana,” said Selina Sebopa, a 59-year-old

grandmother of three who cleans the offices of several media houses in Johannesburg.

And if Ghana is knocked out?

“Then I’ll go for Brazil,” she said, opting for a team that

occupies a special place in the heart of South Africans for their flair and

their fans’ joie de vivre.

World Cup local organising committee chief executive Danny Jordaan

reminded the country last night: “This is still South Africa’s World Cup. We are

not going home, the World Cup is happening in our home.

“I remain confident that South Africans will continue to be

fantastic hosts for the next two and a half weeks and make the most of this

incredible time in our country’s history, which has already seen us achieve so

much,” Jordaan added.

If attendance at game is anything to go by, South Africans are

still coming to the party. For six days before the France game, they knew they

needed nothing short of a miracle to advance to the next round, following their

disastrous 3-0 defeat by Uruguay.

And yet, over 84 000 people packed into Soccer City on Sunday to

see Brazil beat Ivory Coast 3-1, most of them South Africans.

Average attendance at this World Cup after 36 matches is running at

48 446, the third-highest since 1982, after the 1994 United States and 2006

Germany editions.

By contrast, attendance at fanparks and public viewing areas has

slowed to a trickle since the opening game on June 11 between South Africa and

Mexico, bar for South Africa games.

Yesterday evening, under 100 people stood under a giant screen in

central Johannesburg’s capacious Mary Fitzgerald Square as Nigeria fought South

Korea in vain for a place in the round of 16. The surrounding bars were also

quiet.

Some blame the winter weather but it is the fear of crime that has

really squeezed the life out of South Africa’s streets after dark.

And yet the tsotsis that often terrorise the population appear to

be also hugging the hearth during the World Cup.

From Johannesburg to Durban and Cape Town, foreign fans have

marvelled at how safe they have felt.

England fan John said in Cape Town: “People were a bit worried

before but security seems fine. We’ve had no problems.”



Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.