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banner Thursday, 6 July, 2000, 12:08 GMT 13:08 UK
Why South Africa's bid failed
SA bid chairman Irvin Khoza
Africa's time? South Africa's Irvin Khoza puts his case
South Africa had been the favourites to win the bid to host the 2006 World Cup.

But unlike England and Germany, South Africa's campaign team had no thoroughbred stock of soccer icons of its own.

Instead it rode high on Nelson Mandela's global reputation and his often obsessive longing to take the bull by the horns.

A vote for South Africa was seen as a vote for Africa - which has never hosted a World Cup tournament before, despite exporting some of the world's finest soccer players to Europe and other parts of the world - as well as a vote for developing countries.

Nelson Mandela wears South Africa's colours
Mandela: South Africa's most powerful advocate
Many argued that it is time to break the stranglehold countries in Europe have had on the World Cup.

Crucially for South Africa, Fifa president Sepp Blatter was voted in on a wave of African votes, promising to deliver the World Cup to the continent for the first time.


But some thought that South Africa's infrastructural development would not match that of Germany, even though it has a mixture of top class football and rugby grounds, ready to be upgraded into stadiums worthy of the World Cup showdown.

The country has already played host to the Rugby World Cup in 1995, and the African Nations Cup in 1996.

Cape Town made a bid - but failed - to host the 2004 Olympics.

But the cricket's governing body has already signalled that South Africa would be the suitable venue for the Cricket World Cup in 2003.


South Africa's biggest drawback was the high rate of crime on its city streets, especially the business capital, Johannesburg.

A South Africa fan
The World Cup would arouse huge excitement in South Africa
South Africa's campaign team had promised that 10% of its budget would be used to tackle the crime menace.

Transport was another problem to be tackled. Some of the proposed stadiums were a long way from tourist hotels, and the dangerous, crowded minibus taxis remain the backbone of public transport.

And few African soccer fans have the means to make the journey south, as witnessed by the overwhelmingly South African crowds at the 1996 Cup of Nations.

South Africa's location, a 12-hour flight away from the affluent soccer fans of Europe, could have deterred those supporters from making the journey.


South Africa's time zone - the same as central Europe during the northern hemisphere summer - was seen as a factor in its advantage, making things simple for the lucrative European television broadcasts.

The South African winter weather ranges from cool to mild - and although Cape Town can be very wet at that time of year, the rest of the country enjoys clear skies.

As Nelson Mandela put it when he argued South Africa's case, "it's Africa's time".

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29 Jun 00 | 2006 World Cup decision
South Africa's campaign team
29 Jun 00 | 2006 World Cup decision
Stadium guide: Rugby pitches in
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