AS South Africa marks one year after the kick-off of a tournament that is forever etched in our country’s history, the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa (OC) looks back with pride at the country’s phenomenal achievement.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was a time when South Africa dispelled doubt in its ability and invited the world to witness the reality, rather than believe the perceptions of what they thought South Africa was really about.
Africa’s first FIFA World Cup was FIFA’s best ever, its most commercially successful ever and arguably its most socially important ever, set as it was in a developing country and continent with so much to prove.
As we reflect, we do so with great pride in what was achieved by all South Africans, at the legacy of world-class sporting infrastructure, improved transport and road networks, but most importantly at the social cohesion the event generated and the pride felt by South Africans and all Africans as we successfully hosted the biggest event in world sport.
While we are conscious that the FIFA World Cup was about building a better future for South Africa and showcasing South Africa’s best attributes on a global stage, it was also about acknowledging our country’s past and paying tribute to icons who enabled us to create a country that could even dream of hosting a FIFA World Cup. Without icons such as Walter Sisulu, Ma Albertina Sisulu, Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Govan Mbeki, Oliver Tambo and an endless list of people who dedicated their lives for the achievement of a democratic South Africa, an achievement such as a successful FIFA World Cup would simply never have been possible.
While we acknowledge and welcome the events and celebrations that will take place throughout the country this weekend, as a mark of respect for the funeral of Ma Albertina Sisulu in Orlando this weekend, the 2010 OC will not mark the tournament’s success this weekend, but will host a celebratory event around the 2010 June 11, a year after the 2010 FIFA World Cup final.