“It’s about trade. It’s about investment. It’s about business. It’s about tourism. Those are the stories that we think we want to place on the media platforms. We’ve had the stories of coups and disease and all of those stories. On the African continent, we’re not spending all of our lives dealing with those issues. We also have a future that we want to build for ourselves which is bright. This has never been only about 90 minutes of football.”
The above quote was from Mr. Danny Jordaan, the CEO of the World Cup organizing committee, and was noted in a recent blog post on the New York Times soccer blog, Goal.
The post was largely about the countdown to the World Cup and how South Africa has been doubted since being awarded the event in 2004. There are legitimate concerns, particularly concerning security. But there is an overwhelming feeling that not only will South Africa deliver on the logistics, they will deliver a historic games.
I particularly like Mr. Jordaan’s statement about it “not ever being just about 90 minutes of football.” Let’s hope all the selling, convincing and promise making that Mr. Jordaan and the organizing committee have been making pan out over the long-term. History tells us that they won’t reach their projections. But even if they achieve 75% of what they say, South Africa will certainly benefit in the long term.
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