Blatter the man any day

FOR someone decried by the Western world as a dictator, Sepp Blatter has proven himself a consistent friend of South Africa and Africa.

FOR someone decried by the Western world as a dictator, Sepp Blatter has proven himself a consistent friend of South Africa and Africa.

As we take a bow after hosting what has been a relatively successful Confederations Cup, it would be a grave error not to recognise the role of Blatter in all that is making us look to the next year with confidence.

After we narrowly missed staging the 2006 Fifa World Cup, Blatter's confidence in South Africa and his assertion that Africa deserved her place of honour in the international football family remained steadfast.

Now with about 11 months to go, he remains as unmoved by the silliness of Europe and its allies who suffer from the illusion that theirs is the only voice that matters in so far as the game of billions is concerned.

Blatter's support for the vuvuzela and repetition to Europe that they should not impose their standards on Africa was in keeping with the principled stance he has taken since his election as head of Fifa, where he has consistently reminded all that the future of the game was in the developing world.

Not that he has been entirely a praise singer. Blatter has not been shy to point out South Africa's shortcomings on and off the pitch. He has been upfront about the team's poor showing and about what still needs to be done to ensure that we pull off a successful World Cup.

Compared with all other forms of Western dictators Africa has endured, we will take Blatter any day of the week.

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