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Sunday, 13 February, 2000, 16:17 GMT
Is Africa ready to host the World Cup?




The African Cup of Nations has seen some great football. It has also had some problems. Nigerian fans have been unruly, floodlights have failed and there were attacks on Nigerians by football hooligans in Dakar after Senegal lost.

Probably worst of all was when the Ivory Coast Elephants were detained in a military training camp after being knocked out.

Even Fifa President Sepp Blatter, who has publically backed an Africa bid for the World Cup in 2006, was drawn into warning that the standing of football on the continent was being harmed by that incident.

So has the first co-hosted Cup of Nations tournament boosted the chances of South Africa or Morocco staging the World Cup in Africa for the first time?

Or has the Cup of Nations shown that Africa is not yet ready to host football's top tournament?




Your Reaction

Africa can and should host the 2006 World Cup. All the problems stemming from the Cup of Nations can be taken care of before then. We do not need more excuses. I support South Africa's bid and I am sure it will perform creditably.
Austen Akabueze, USA

Mr Tezock hasn't got a clue about Scotland yet he derides our footballing facilities. For his education let me tell him that Glasgow will become the only city in Europe with 3 football grounds that achieve EUFA's five star status.
Gerry, Scotland

South Africa is not ready to host the most prestigious sports tournament in the world. It would harm their continent's chances of ever hosting the competition again if it was awarded the world cup. England is ready and will have huge established stadiums to host the world cup. No other country can match our stadiums or our infrastructure (not including the US). It is time football came home.
Mark West, UK

Sports has been a medium that brings people of divergent views together. Most people the world over wouldn't want an African nation hosting the world cup for reasons best known to them. While Africans acknowledge their shortcomings in various aspects of developments, should this be a reason to deny hosting this event? We have seen tremendous leaps in the talent pools of African footballers in the past decade or so with more to follow. Unless you give somebody a chance, you probably don't know what they are capable of doing. It's high time we stop using outdated statistics to judge African nations, and get right down to the fact of doing the right thing. An African nation can host the world soccer fiesta just like everybody else.
Chris Itonyo, USA/NIgeria

The 1995 world cup rugby held in South Africa was a success, as well as the 1996 cup of nations, so there is no doubt that SA is ready. The notion that the soccer disruptions in Nigeria make Africa not ready for the world cup reminds me of the time when British soccer supporters trashed London after losing their semi-final match to Germany at Wembley stadium back in 1996 when the UK hosted the European Nations cup final.
Wendelin Schnippenkoetter, Australia

The demonization of Continental Africa continues today. Yes indeed, some countries like South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, etc, are capable to host the World Cup. Don't forget, the strength of most soccer nations reflects African talent in sports. I did not hear, can Europe host the World Cup? If so, no. Instead, you will ask, can France, Germany, England etc, host the World Cup? Looking at Europe from a continental perspective, there are nations in the Baltic Regions such as Serbia, Bosnia etc.. will cause Europe to fail the standard test given to Africa. The process of evaluation should be done equally. Compare continent to continent; compare country to country. Give some African countries credit (for superb infrastructure, political stability) when credit is due.
Urias McGill, (Liberia) U.S.A

Your question betrays the classic absence of geographic appreciation. The continent of Africa is huge and in it are countries at different stages of development. There is no doubt that Morocco, Nigeria and South African can host the competition. They have sports infrastructure that compares and exceeds the standards in British regions like Scotland and Wales and in minor European States like Austria, Portugal or Poland. There is also no evidence to prove that England's "small" grounds offer more to Football than South Africa's multiple stadia.
Mat Tezock, Cameroon

Whoever against Africa hosting the World Cup is against the will of all the African people. It is time for Africa to host the World Cup, we are capable like any other continent in the World, if Brukina Faso can manage to host African Cup of Nations, which is not a developed country, what about Morocco/South Africa which have got facilities like any other country other continents.
Junias Kalimbo, Namibia

Fine, have the world cup in Africa. Just don't expect anyone to turn up to watch.
Mark Thomas, England

I think it is high time the world stops bringing up excuses why the continent should not host the tournament and get on with it
Ufuoma, United Kingdom

I think the continent is ready to host the World Cup. We as Africans have come a long way in improving the quality of football in both Europe & Africa. I do believe the South Africa or Morocco has the infrastructures to host the World Cup. I hope that FIFA will be fair enough to give our continent the chance to prove itself to the rest of the world, by giving Africa the chance
Clarence Madison, USA

Although an African World Cup is something which I as an African would love, the pragmatic observer cannot possibly indulge such an idea. If one realises there is almost an institutionalised state of violence in much of Africa, what sort of show can Africa hope to provide? Africa must clean up its act, restore the notion of law and order and then think about hosting the world cup or any athletic competition. Besides, I hope that when Africa hosts a World Cup it is able to put on a show that can rival or even top any of the previous tournaments to date!
Oladipo, Nigeria

African nations should first 'host' their citizens first before aspiring to host the World Cup. Charity begins at home the needs of Africans, hunger, poverty, political instability and general instability and insecurity should be addressed before the 'white elephant' project of hosting the World Cup.
Charles Osuagwu, Kuwait

To be frank, Africa is not ready to host the World cup yet. Nigeria will be able to host the World Cup in the future, if they can get their economy balance. In fact, the World cup is not something a third world country can host.
Uanzeki Ojeiwa, Nigeria/USA

I do not think the world should make a mistake of allowing an African country host the World Cup. We cannot even keep our backyards clean. With all the corruption that plagues most African countries, we cannot afford to give the opportunity to all these blood sucking leaders to come near all the money that will simply end up in a few peoples pocket. Africa is paying the price for its bad leadership and it is not yet time for the rest of the world to give it an opportunity to squander and embezzle more funds. I rest my case.
Yaounde, Cameroon

I strongly believe that Africa could host the World Cup. I have been in both bidding countries and they are as economically as strong or stronger than some south American nations who hosted it before (Mexico or Argentina). Or even some European (Spain for example). They probably can't send a space shuttle, but they can organise a World Cup.
Peter Stewart, Canada

Africa (baring a few countries) should learn first, how to run a country, forgetting petty tribal differences. Then they should think of staging international events.
Dipta, USA

Africa should be a fine place to host The Cup of Nations. But, we have seen sports fans in countries as the U.S. and the U.K. get out of hand over events in a game. So, it should not be said that the Africans are less apt to do a decent job controlling crowds, etc. than anybody else. If, this is the case, then, it is up to them to see to it that 'law and order' are preserved during games. And, the time has come for Africans to have their celebrations and super games. This is good for them and for all sports minded people. We must only make sure that we don't insult the intelligence of those who are prospective peoples for any championship games. That is not good.
Dave Adams, USA

Not yet. All African nations have lots of internal problems they need to work on, like civil war, hunger and international debt. Let's concentrate on this problems first.
Fasil, Ethiopia

To host a world cup is expensive, even rich, developed nations have problems there are nations in Africa that are capable of doing so who the knowledge and money (even if they need to borrow) for example Morocco, Nigeria, Tunisa, and South Africa, Libya and Egypt lets keep internal and political problems aside every nation have those, the only problem is will FIFA have such confidence on Africa to host the cup?
Warsama Yusuf, Australia/Somalia

Why not.... Africa appreciates football more than any other sports ...It deserves to host the MOTHER OF ALL SPORTS EVENTS....I don't want to bring up the race card here, but if SOUTH AFRICA is not awarded with 2006 World Cup, then there is racism in the FIFA organisation
Abdi-fatah Ismail Elmi, Somalia

Africa was ready for organising the World Cup a long time ago.
Tekeste Ogbamicael, USA

It is time for Africa to host the world cup in any suitable African capital like Cairo.
Ramez Andrawis, MD, FRCS, USA

If countries like Mexico, Argentina and Brazil could host the World Cup, I can't see why South or Morocco cannot successfully do the same. Unless FIFA has different standard when it comes to dealing with Africa.
Innocent Chukwuma, Nigeria

If it's for equality sake, I would say yes the time has come for World cup to be hosted in the Continent of Africa. But the truth is we are not yet there, we haven't proven our case beyond reasonable doubt. Hosting a tournament like a World cup is not the solution of our problems. African must first elevate their moral standard, show some character, feed her own people first, We have to be our brothers keeper first before we can be a keeper for the World. We have to take better care of ourselves first before we invite the World to come and visit us. Africa is not ready to host the World cup, maybe in this decade, but the time is not now.
Demola, USA

Morocco is still fighting its own people in Western Sahara, and is the EU's highest recipient of aid. It can't afford it and needs to reappraise it's priorities. South Africa is the murder capital of the world! How can they possibly be given the tournament?
Khalid, USA

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See also:
03 Feb 00 |  Talking Point
Cup of Nations: Who will win?
17 Jan 00 |  African
Is Europe stealing Africa's best players?
25 Jan 00 |  African
When will Africa win the World Cup?


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