Thumbs up for World Cup

2009-09-08 22:24

Johannesburg - South Africans' confidence about the country's ability to successfully host the 2010 Fifa World Cup is at a record high, a survey released on Tuesday found.

Eighty-seven percent of those polled were convinced the country would be ready to host the competition, research company SPORT+MARKT found.

This was the highest level of confidence shown since the first study, conducted in December 2008, when 73% of respondents declared their confidence, followed by 83% in March.

Ninety-one percent of those questioned said the spectacle would improve public infrastructure, while another 97% said it would strengthen the country's tourism industry.

The study indicated that 66% believed crime would be an issue for visitors to the tournament, compared to the 58% who thought so in March.

The number of interviewees who believed local businesses would inflate prices during the tournament rose from 59% in March to 77%.

Half the respondents said transport infrastructure was below par, up from 42% who thought so in March.

The survey was conducted amongst 1 004 people in all major cities and World Cup host cities, with quotas for ethnic origin, age and gender. Interviews were conducted on a face-to-face basis.

According to the research the higher scores could be attributed to an increased awareness of the World Cup due to media coverage, and the performance of the national team in the Confederations Cup.

"The scores reflect a higher sensitivity to all aspects of hosting the World Cup and an anxious enthusiasm to put on a good show for the watching world," read the report.