Johannesburg: South Africa’s smooth running of the cricket World Cup has boosted the country’s hopes of hosting soccer’s biggest tournament in 2010, the man championing the bid said Thursday.
“Certainly the cricket World Cup has strengthened South Africa’s profile,” Danny Jordaan, the former Premier League soccer chief who is spearheading the 2010 bid, said. “I think the overall impression is very positive.”
South Africa hosted the Rugby Union World Cup in 1995and the athletics World Cup three years later.
Clinching the world’s top sporting event would be the icing on the cake for a country — and continent — where soccer, more than cricket or rugby, is the game of the black majority.
The cricket has showcased South Africa’s tourist attractions and, with a total of 54 matches climaxing in Sunday's final, has gone with barely a hitch in security terms.
There were tussles between rival fans during the crunch India-Pakistan match, but they were dealt with quickly by security personnel. (Reuters)