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Spain's breakthrough a blessing for Mzansi

By unknown | Jul 09, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

The drought of 44 years has now been ended, and South Africa stands to benefit from the success of Spain at the recently ended European Championship.

The drought of 44 years has now been ended, and South Africa stands to benefit from the success of Spain at the recently ended European Championship.

For many years, the creative geniuses of the bullfighting nation always promised to deliver the trophy to their compatriots, only to fail when the going got hotter.

This time, after four decades of struggle and bitterness, they turned on the magic and the German ambitions ended in tears.

Congratulations to the Spanish, their success is a reflection of the quality of their league and tournaments.

They now join the confirmed participants Brazil, USA, Iraq, Egypt, world champions Italy, hosts South Africa and most probably New Zealand from the Oceania Confederation, in the 'The Festival of Champions', as the Confederations Cup is affectionately called.

What the success of Spain represents for us is the opportunity to market both the World Cup and the Confederations Cup to the Latin countries, especially the Spanish speakers.

Even from the tourism marketing perspective, the success in Euro 2008 will focus the international Spanish media and public of Spain on South Africa.

Traditionally our focus as a country has been on the so-called traditional markets that we have long-standing relationships with.

The same applies with the participation of both Egypt and Iraq as the public and media in the Arab world will also be training their spotlights on our country.

The fact that the United States may compete in the Confederations Cup under possible president Barack Obama, makes for an even more interesting development in that the new leader of the most powerful nation may use the opportunity to visit the continent.

For that matter, the USA and Iraq may achieve peace on the field of play. Beyond that, trade and diplomacy may be promoted through football.

That Brazil and Italy are football giants speaks for itself.

Both are world champions several times and they bring the best football pedigree imaginable.

The tournament is less than 12 months away and the operational delivery of the event is currently being fine-tuned. The venue operations personnel are being recruited and deployed.

Training, as I have always said, is critical and thus the recent participation by many of our members in the delivery of the Euro tournament.

They will also be given opportunities in other Fifa events.

The Organising Committee (OC) is also in the process of activating some of its programmes, the most recent being the launch of the volunteer programme on July 1.

It seeks to give fellow South Africans an opportunity to play a role in the Confederations Cup next year.

The OC is looking for 5000 individuals with good communication skills to assist us with a whole number of services that include accreditation, translations, IT skills etcetera.

So far we have registered more than 4000 individuals and the registration is open until August 30. For many who may still wish to register you can do so by visiting our World Cup 2010 page on, or by phoning 0800-52-52-52.

The volunteers will be provided with training from February next year. On the ticketing front a lot of work has been done, the price structure has been determined and hospitality packages are already being sold.

Tickets for the general public will be put on the market early in the new year, and the procedures of purchasing these tickets will be publicised in due course. In the meantime, brace yourself for a very colourful football festival.

lTim Modise is the 2010 World Cup SA Local Organising Committee's head of communications.For your suggestions, queries and more on 2010 e-mail


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