Football festival ends in South Afrika

By Afrikatu Kofi Nkrumah
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On Sunday 11 July, the curtains came down in South Afrika at

the 2010 FIFA World Cup held peacefully for the first time

in Afrika. It was indeed a great football festival which

started with a superb two-hour cultural show full of pomp

and pageantry at Johannesburg's Soccer City rebuilt in the

shape of a multi-coloured calabash.
Yet, it has been a long journey from Zurich where FIFA

president Sepp Blatter declared South Afrika as having won

the right to host the 2010 World Cup on 15 May 2004. For

many people in Africa, this was an unbelievable relief and

an occasion for euphoric and joyous celebrations. However,

it was not easy to win the bid and it took an active

involvement of the former president Nelson Mandela. Despite

his huge image and the power of his personality, there were

still many naysayers and detractors who thought wrongly

that, Afrika was not able to pull it off successfully.

So lend me your ears, ladies and gentlemen, because the

fact-sheet is out and it contains this message: The 2010

World Cup was the most successful tournament by all

standards in the history of Federation Internationale De

Football Association (FIFA). The organization was smooth

and perfect. Attendance at matches went beyond expectation

shattering the American record from 1994, and where else if

not in Afrika, could you have such colourful and multitude

of passionate fans in a sustained party mood for a whole

month. Yes, Afrika knows how to welcome visitors and we

know how to throw a splendid party too.
So, you are probably familiar with the sound of vuvuzela by

now and you may have already experienced what jabulani is

at the event where an excellent and expertly organized

football fiesta in Afrika brought the peoples of the World

much closer together in the spirit of Ubuntu. Sports and

football in particular has the potential of uniting a

country, continent and people across cultures. FIFA has

done well in that respect.
We therefore take this opportunity to wish all participating

national teams and fans safe travel home and extend

congratulations to Spain for winning their first World Cup

trophy. As we look expectantly toward Brazil in 2014, we

hope for better luck next time for Afrikan teams.
Although the expected great performance by teams from Afrika

did not materialize, we take consolation in the fact that

South Afrika has presented the world with a spectacular and

flawless tournament on behalf of whole continent. This

makes it difficult if not impossible for any one outside

our continent to doubt the ability of the Afrikan to

succeed in any endeavour. And this is then the enduring

legacy of this year's World Cup in South Afrika. President

Zuma is already talking about South Afrika hosting the

Olympics. And why not?
So as we keep improving, hopefully, our effort to excel will

be crowned with Afrika's first FIFA World Cup trophy in

Brazil, come 2014.
Finally, let us not forget to express our appreciation by

Thank you former president Nelson Mandela
Thank you FIFA president Sepp Blatter
Thank you South Afrika
Thank you Afrika
And thank you the peoples of the World who believed in

Africa. Lets meet again at the football carneval in Brazil.

Afrikatu Kofi Nkrumah