SOUTH Africans won the hearts of the international community by continuing to support the 2010 World Cup despite the shock exit of Bafana Bafana in the first round, Confederation of African Football president Issa Hayatou said yesterday.
Hayatou also thanked South Africa for hosting such an incredible tournament.
A former Cameroonian athletics champion, Hayatou also serves as chairperson of the World Cup Organising Committee.
"The SA fans and Africans in general mobilised to make this World Cup a resounding success. It was a great experience," he said. "For me the one of the best moments of the World Cup was the continuous support of the World Cup by South Africans despite the fact that Bafana Bafana were no longer part of the tournament.
"South Africans continued mobilising more support for the World Cup and ensured that the match venues were always full."
Hayatou, who is one of the Fifa deputy presidents, also praised the Local Organising Committee for their preparations.
"South Africans have made the rest of the continent proud with a great World Cup and it shows that Africa is equally capable of hosting any major world event."