In the beginning… there was 2010

2010 and the Football World Cup

For South Africa, 1 January 2010 in some way marks the start of a new era. As I walked through the Waterfront I wasn't sure whether or not it was reality or my own thoughts that caused me to think that something felt different in the air, in the vibe.

Perhaps it's difficult for people who're not at all interested in football to understand the significance of a country hosting the Football World Cup. Two of the reasons why it's important to us are:

  1. Football is a huge sport worldwide, and the country hosting the event in a sense has a massive captive audience. Tourism is a big industry in our country. Increasing tourism in the long-term leads to more jobs for people who currently don't have work.
  2. The vast majority of our population is black, and during the battle with apartheid, football was the one outlet that they had. From what I've read, it was a place to have fun and (in a way) temporarily forget about their oppression. Although apartheid itself is a thing of the past, the legacy it left still continues to affect our society in many ways. And so the excitement and passion of The Beautiful Game continues to be an escape for many from the difficulties of their everyday lives.

For several years, the dream of hosting the World Cup, with a chance to see the stars in action, has been just that - a distant dream. Perhaps the realisation that this dream is finally about to come true is the greatest reason why 2010 has been met with huge optimism, excitement and expectation. Make sure you can say, "I was there." ;-)

One thought on “In the beginning… there was 2010

  1. Eleonora

    How exciting! I am not a huge football fan (despite the fact I am half Italian) but the thrill level in SA muct be rocketing, and that’s something I’d love to witness.


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