South Africa's World Cup: Africa’s moment in the sun

The long awaited soccer world cup tournament is about to kick-off in South Africa and the festivity is gaining momentum as the countdown continues. Simply put, Africa and the world community of soccer lovers cannot contain themselves, the sports analyst and soccer elders are busying making speculations on which football stars and countries that can make to the finals and grabbed the coveted world cup.

For the first in the history of FIFA’s world cup competition the venue is in Africa. South Africa won the competition to host the world cup. The universality of the soccer/football makes it the game of the people. Soccer is an affordable game that’s why it is ubiquitous
and truly universal . The youths of Africa are playing the game all over the world and contracted by the big football clubs mostly in Europe. It is becoming common thing to see African players in Britain, Spanish and German teams as the super players. Africans youths and players have helped to increase the popularity of soccer by attracting new fans not just in Africa but in the whole wide world. Therefore Africans contribution to the sustainability of soccer industry cannot be overemphasis.

African nations and fans are expecting a lot for their home national teams. African national teams could surprise the world and grab the world cup. One thing exciting about soccer is that anything is possible in the soccer field. In the 1996 Olympic soccer competition, Nigerian team did the impossible and won the soccer tournament in United States. Kanu Nwankwo of Nigeria was the mathematical strategist that led Nigeria to victory in the Olympics. Can Nigeria repeat that in South Africa? Maybe Samuel Eto (The Inter Milan striker and African sports person of the year) could help Cameroon his home national team to victory.

Ghana, Gambia, Cameroon, South Africa including Asian national teams can prove to world that human will can triumph. These nations are lest expected to win the world cup due to weak management and coordination. Most of the players for African national teams are playing outside their countries and the home teams lack cohesions because the players have never been playing together in the national teams. Let us not write them off because if the chemistry becomes apparent as they played, anything is possible.

Media and South Africa
The world media has a job to do, which is to report on the country and soccer tournament. South Africa is complaining about the news reporting but all the news coming from South Africa is not all negative. Most of the news coming from South Africa are overwhelmingly positive, the world have not forgotten that the country is the land of the Great Nelson Mandela. The most important thing is for the reporting to be balance and accurate. The stampede that occurred during the friendly match in South Africa between Nigeria and North Korea was unfortunate. It is a lesson to South Africa and FIFA that more should be done to enhance security. But lapses, accidents and human errors are inevitable.

Economic Impact
South Africa the host will gain from the tournament, although it may not be immediate. South Africa invested scarce resources to host the game: Time, money and human capital were enormous. The cost of the tournament will run in billions of dollars but with time South Africa will recuperate the money and even more. First and foremost, the level of exposure for South Africa is huge. The return on the investment that comes with market impact of the exposure is a dream for many nations. South Africa will showcase her beautiful country and wild life. The tourism industry will be at a great advantage.

South Africa is a modern country with durable infrastructures tucked in the tip of Africa along the Cape of Good Hope. The country has every reason to be happy, the once apartheid country has transformed to a nation at peace and capable of hosting the world cup which is a testament of her goodwill.

Written by
Emeka Chiakwelu
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