South Africa excited about World Cup soccer
For the next couple of weeks, the eyes of the world will be sharply focused on South Africa. This is the first time South Africa is hosting the 2010 World Cup soccer. No other sporting event galvanizes the globe as the World Cup.
Soccer is played in more countries than any other sport. Almost half the planet, or three billion people watched the last World Cup soccer final.
This is the very first time the globe’s most thrilling sporting event is being held in Africa. The event has helped to fuel the hopes, aspirations and dreams of the entire continent. This prestigious event is being held on the heels of the 50th anniversary of protesters taking a peaceful stand against apartheid in South Africa.
South Africa has already spent more than $5 billion to host the soccer World Cup, including building 10 world-class stadiums. All signs indicate this will be the most exotic World Cup on record.
By the time the final is staged on July 11 at Johannesburg’s Soccer City Stadium, everyone will gain a lot of knowledge about South Africa and its gloomy past. The furthest an African nation has travelled at a World Cup is the quarter finals. This was a game between Cameroon and Italy in 1990. Eight years ago, Senegal also played against Italy in Korea/ Japan. Since then Africans have taken the game even more seriously.
African players are equal to players from Italy, Britain or even Brazil and Portugal. And there is optimism that soccer fans from every corner of the world will flock to South Africa to witness this historic event.
This World Cup promises to be spectacular. There are tales of optimism and joy among South Africans about this event.
For years now, the South African government has been tirelessly working to ensure the World Cup will run smoothly and successfully and also relatively crime free. This is a tall order. But, the authorities are determined to ensure there are no major problems with crime. South Africa has a dismal record on crime and murder. Officials say South Africa has invested $ 180 million in event security. As the host, South Africa has increased the police force by 41,000 and has also instituted a tough policy to deter would be carjackers, muggers, armed robbers and murderers.
An estimated 500,000 soccer fans have converged on South Africa for this class event. No other country in Africa had all the facilities to host this event.
South Africa is hoping the World Cup soccer will spur economic growth in their country and will help create new jobs. One in four people are reported to be without jobs in South Africa today. South Africa has recently gone through a bad recession.
President Jacob Zuma has given repeated assurances that the soccer event in his country will be a big success.