Posts Tagged ‘South Africa 2010’


“After a month of matches, the 2010 FIFA World Cup Tournament is over, with Spain claiming its first ever trophy, the Netherlands placing second, and Germany taking third place. 32 teams came to South Africa last month, and the eyes of the world were upon them as television and online viewership broke records, and in many places productivity dropped sharply when matches were being played. Collected here are photos from the second half of the tournament, the action on the fields, and the reactions of those following the games in both South Africa and their home countries, as we bid farewell to the 2010 World Cup.”

A pre-written article congratulating The Netherlands for defeating Spain “by a score of SCORE to SCORE” was accidentally published on CBS’s 2010 World Cup portal, where it remained long enough for the above screencap to be snapped, and for Dutch fans to fantasize about what could have been.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, Spain’s 1-0 defeat of the Netherlands in the World Cup final gave Paul the psychic octopus a 100% record for the tournament

Spanish captain Iker Casillas sealed Spain’s first ever World Cup win by kissing his TV reporter girlfriend, who had been accused of distracting him, before millions of viewers during a live on-air interview.


It is not every World Cup that ends with the chief executive quoting a poet. But then again, this has not been the normal World Cup.

On Saturday, a day before Spain and the Netherlands, two nations that have never won the World Cup, were to meet in the final, Danny Jordaan spoke of South Africa as the first African nation to hold the earth’s most important sports event. His homeland has a word, Ubuntu, that means we are all interconnected, said Jordaan, who grew up under segregation, as a man of mixed ancestry. This South African concept reminded Jordaan of Donne’s Meditation XVII, which includes the words “No man is an island.” For all the crassness of any World Cup, despite the private jets hogging the tarmac in Durban, keeping scheduled flights from touching down for the semifinal, there has been another side, dare we say idealistic, to this World Cup.

It was always meant as an instrument of “nation-building, social cohesion,” Jordaan said at a news conference in this gilded business enclave outside Johannesburg. Jordaan, who is of mixed Dutch and Khoi ancestry, was reminding everybody that the Nelson Mandela legacy had been present, although the 91-year-old patriarch had not.

Africans ran the computers. Africans provided the security. Africans built the new stadiums. A woman operated a crane, Jordaan noted. He estimated that only one million of the 49 million citizens were able to attend matches, because of the scarcity and cost of the tickets. But as the host team, Bafana Bafana, was eliminated, he said that South Africans of all colors morphed into rooting for Ghana (against the United States) while others rooted for Brazil (who doesn’t love Brazil?), and in the semifinals chose from among Uruguay or Germany or Spain or the Netherlands. They were fans. They could choose, just as they could walk into a shop or restaurant or polling place, which they could not do when he was young.

He flicked away skepticism about the cost of the World Cup, whatever it is, but as he rushed to the plane that would take him to the third-place match in Port Elizabeth, he volunteered: “There will be a huge post-World Cup blues on Monday. I hope they go to work.”

If they have jobs. Unemployment is said to be 25 percent in South Africa. Many of the helpful and hopeful young people who got things right around stadiums in the past month told me they had no jobs when this was over. There is no evidence that World Cups and Olympic Games leave any legacy of jobs and stability, but Jordaan’s premise is that people know South Africa better, as a place of business and pleasure and culture.

Jordaan has heard it all in recent years, from grumps like me who asked him if the news media buses would run on time. On Saturday, he said, “I would tell people, ‘Just stay in your room and sulk.’ ”He has lived with speculation that South Africa would never get to hold these games because it could not build stadiums or sell tickets. The head of FIFA, Merry King Sepp Blatter, once blurted that he had backup nations, just in case. Recently, Jordaan told 702 Talk Radio in Sandton: “We’re moving to that stage of the tournament when teams begin to go home. But the first team to go home was team Plan B. They’re not even here.”

The British news media predicted mugging epidemics and forecast earthquakes in stable regions. Jordaan recently told The Mirror of England: “I knew the critics had given up when stories started appearing that we had dangerous snakes in South Africa and that that could be a threat to the competition. People were saying they were so dangerous that one snake could kill off two teams. If that was all they had left to aim at us, I considered that to be them throwing in the towel.”

South Africa has held the 1995 Rugby World Cup, when the host Springboks won and Mandela put on the green shirt. South Africa was also a co-host of the 2003 Cricket World Cup. But there is always the need to keep proving itself.

Yes, it is impossible to miss the heavy security that does, to a degree, turn every lovely suburban home into an island. At this stage, that is an economic problem more than a racial problem. But walking around Durban and Johannesburg, I realized how complex and evolving South Africa is.

“People don’t want to trust Africa,” Blatter said two years ago. “That is wrong. Africa has given so much not only to football but to the whole world. Someday, something should come back. So let’s have this World Cup. Let’s celebrate Africa. Why not?”

Blatter has said some loopy things in his time, but he followed through on his talk about the “moral responsibility” to hold a World Cup in South Africa. Blatter did not quote John Donne, but Danny Jordaan did. In a World Cup of firsts, that seemed only right.

By George Vecsey (NY Times)

“When stories are told about African poverty, race often seems to play a large part. Based in Senegal, Reuters photographer Finbarr O’Reilly (previously acclaimed for his work in DR Congo) traveled to South Africa earlier this year and visited one of a growing number of squatter camps populated mostly by Afrikaners – white South Africans – to document their stories and help show that, despite the fact that impoverished blacks in the region far outnumber whites, poverty is a human issue, not necessarily racial. O’Reilly: “While most white South Africans still enjoy lives of privilege and relative wealth, the number of poor whites has risen steadily over the past 15 years. Researchers now estimate some 450,000 whites, of a total white population of 4.5 million, live below the poverty line and 100,000 are struggling just to survive in places such Coronation Park, a former caravan camp currently home to more than 400 white squatters. Formerly comfortable Afrikaners recently forced to live on the fringes of society see themselves as victims of ‘reverse-apartheid’ that they say puts them at an even greater disadvantage than the millions of poor black South Africans.”

Via: The Big Picture @

The obligatory Hitler reaction video: Germany’s loss to Spain in the World Cup semifinals.



FIFA World Cup Semi-Finals:
Holland 3-2 Uruguay
Spain 1-0 Germany

Congratulations to both Holland and Spain who will fight it out to claim their first ever World Cup trophy. It will be a showdown of two teams that have had the reputation of crumbling under pressure. Spain will play in its first World Cup final. The Netherlands will play in its third. History will be made on sunday. A lot of beer will be drunk and Dutch or Spanish girls will be shagged in celebration whilst Dutch or Spanish men will nurse their defeat with alcohol or vice versa or…whatever…you get me. Vuvuzelas will be blown.
July 11 – Holland vs Spain.

Spanish commentator and Real Madrid legend Camacho was so excited by David Villa’s goal in Spain’s 1-0 quarterfinal win over Paraguay that the overwhelming emotion made him convulse and appear to repeatedly hit himself in the face with his own microphone. That, my friends, is a man who cares. And I doubt he was the only Spaniard to react like that since Villa’s goal puts his country in the World Cup semifinals for the first time ever.

FIFA World Cup Semi-Finals
6 July – Uruguay vs Holland
7 July – Germany vs Spain

To get you in the mood, here’s a picture of David Villa with his shirt off.