One of the hottest topics at the moment is, of course, the Soccer/Football World Cup being held in
There has already been much debate as to whether hosting The Cup would have more positives or negatives for
Many super-patriots at this point would start grumbling that I'm just negative and a cynic. Sometimes that's true, but in this case I'm just being a realist. Two years ago I was one of the avid supporters that shot down any suggestions that we might not succeed, insisting that we could build the required stadiums and infrastructure, and that our government had it's act together enough to have everything ready in time. Unfortunately it's now two years on, and we're still in exactly the same position!
None of the required new stadiums have been built (in fact unless I'm mistaken construction on these stadiums has not even begun). We still do not have the new roads or public transport required to get people to and from games and their as-yet unbuilt accommodation. As far as the Gautrain is concerned, demolition has begun in areas such as Hatfield that will play host to terminals, but that's about it. On top of this FIFA enforces strict technological compliance requirements in terms of broadcasting and telecommunications which we are nowhere near meeting.
'But we have four years' I hear the die-hards whimpering. Well I have news for you, there's this little thing called the Confederation Cup, a tournament of 8 teams that is held the year before the World Cup in the same country that is to host the World Cup. In other words, our stadiums, infrastructure and other elements have to be ready in 2009. Oh, but wait, certain infrastructure and technology elements have to be completed, tested and handed over to FIFA two years before the World Cup, that means 2008. So we have less than two years to cut through the endless piles of political red tape our newly-over-beaurocratic government is shitting out on a daily basis and build roads, telecommunications and broadcast networks, accommodation and countless other things. The way things are progressing at the moment (something like a rusty battleship through frozen molasses) that's not very likely. Strangely enough based on recent comments it would appear that our politicians are under the misguided impression that they own the World Cup, rather than FIFA, and that FIFA somehow needs them. Unless something is done very, very soon we are headed for a political and economic catastrophe that
Looking at the infamous efficiency and attention to detail of the Germans, and the incredible experience they are undoubtedly giving the hundreds of thousands of soccer fans that are flooding their country to enjoy The Cup, I doubt very much visitors in 2010 will be satisfied with paying a premium to board in tin shacks and squash into minibus taxis for a 2 hour long commute on the congested N1 to watch a match.