16 June 2010 – Day 6
Well not even Brazil could get this tournament bursting to life. Yes there were some nice flicks, dribbles and touches, but generally it was another night of tough viewing. Let hope that with the second games in the Group stages there is a greater sense of urgency and purpose. So far, too many teams just seem glad to not to have lost their opener.
Sad to see as well that the stadium wasn’t full either which is quite remarkable given that the fixture involved Brazil. Various reasons have been put forward, that range from the pricing structure of tickets, hotels and flights (for those in South Africa and fans coming in from other countries), fears around security and today a story has emerged that tickets bought by the South African government for distribution, are being left unused. Remarkably, friends who are in the England Official Supporters Club are telling me they are getting e-mails saying tickets are available for all games right through to the Final. Are FIFA worried about this? The answer is quite simply – No. Any country hosting a World Cup has to make certain financial guarantees, so for FIFA there is no financial risk. FIFA also make a big issue about any tournament leaving a legacy for the country once the World Cup comes to an end. What is South Africa going to be left with? Debt as a result of meeting FIFA’s financial commitment? What about the stadiums’ – how are these to be used in the future? When the circus leaves town and the sound of vuvuzela’s is a distant memory, will the World Cup have left South Africa a better place?