I was at a dinner with some friends on Wednesday night, and it didn’t take long for the conversation to move to the World Cup. One of the guests said that, although she hadn’t felt much excitement about the World Cup yet, something had changed in her that day and now she very definitely did. This was great news to me because, despite our already mounting facts here on this blog, I understand that people have to come about their enthusiasm when they feel the calling call. She said that she now planned to be at every fan park event possible that she could get to; another convert is another success.
That’s the spirit, and just the kind president Jacob Zuma has been talking about. He says that the World Cup is generating high levels of national pride – and so it should. Where are you going to be watching the games?
Because of what the success of it means to our country, our government has been tracking public opinion of the World Cup since 2007, in 29 countries across seven regions. Findings have shown that the successful hosting of last year’s Confederations Cup went a long way to impressing those cynical minds – especially outside South Africa. President Zuma assures what most of us are already in agreement to; that the 2010 Fifa World Cup will change the face of South Africa forever. I think it already has – and it hasn’t even started yet. Fan parks, stadiums, screaming at the TV set in the comfort of your own home with a bunch of people you happen to love, it’s more than soccer. It’s camaraderie. It’s togetherness. It’s a playing field for the world that just happens to be at our house. Come play. We’re ready!