Thursday Jun 11, 2020. 09:00
On the 10 year anniversary of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, South African Football Association (SAFA) President, Dr Danny Jordaan, has reminisced positively about what was the first World Cup hosted on African soil.
South Africa took on Mexico in the opening game at Soccer City 10 years ago with Siphiwe Tshabalala thumping home the tournament’s first goal after 55 minutes. Unfortunately for the hosts, Rafael Márquez would level matters as the game ended in a 1-1 draw.
While Bafana Bafana failed to advance past the group stages, the tournament progressed flawlessly and is still fondly remembered around the world. In total, the tournament attracted 3,178, 856 spectators to the 64 games, at 10 stadiums in nine South African host cities.
“The first FIFA World Cup on African soil was by all accounts a major success for a number of reasons. We wanted it to be a human story of celebrating the African continent, and for it to rise above South Africa’s apartheid-era past and build on Nelson Mandela’s message of social cohesion and reconciliation,” Jordaan, who was the CEO of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa, told safa.net.
‘We wanted the tournament to contribute to the building of a new South African nation, and while major challenges for our people still persist, South Africa’s democracy has considerably strengthened over the last decade and the country has made considerable forward strides.
He continued: “We celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 2010 FIFA World Cup at a very difficult time for our country and for the world, as we battle the devastating impact of the Coronavirus. It is important, though, even in these uncertain and difficult times to reflect on an event that brought joy, pride and smiles to the faces of all Africans who love football and who cherish the advancement of their continent.
” We once again take the opportunity to thank South Africans, all Africans, FIFA, CAF and the global football community for their contribution to the success of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.”