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Friday, 7 July, 2000, 11:26 GMT 12:26 UK
Media reaction to World Cup vote
Fifa president Sepp Blatter (left) with Germany's Franz Beckenbauer
Germany has salvaged its battered footballing pride
Germans have taken pride in the "precision engineering" which ensured the success of their 2006 World Cup bid, while South African commentators voice bitterness at losing by the narrowest of margins.

A cartoon in Berlin's Die Tageszeitung on Friday contrasted Germany's success in securing the World Cup with the recent failure of its footballers at the Euro 2000 tournament.


We have been badly let down by people we thought would understand our needs the most

South Africa's Raymond Hack

It showed an overweight, confused-looking German footballer, his legs tied in knots, wondering what to do with a football emblazoned with "World Cup 2006," bouncing slowly towards him.

'Teutonic winning machine'

Munich's Sueddeutsche Zeitung said the "amateurish mistakes of the management were being discussed, the playing superstars were being reviled, morale was through the floor and the image of the Teutonic winning machine was destroyed".

But the German bidding team did not let depression get them down, and the bid proceeded with the "smoothness of a precision-made engine", it said.

The Frankfurter Rundschau insisted that "the mistrust of an African country as the host of the World Cup is not political".

"It is only the belief that South Africa has not got the organisational and economic requirements to stage a World Cup."

The paper concluded bluntly that "for the time being the forgotten continent can expect no signals of acceptance from sport".

'A Missed Goal'

Meanwhile, South African papers on Friday gave vent to the nation's outrage at the unexpected Fifa vote.

"The Kiwi who killed SA's World Cup bid," said a headline in the Daily Mail and Guardian, while Business Day lamented "A missed goal".

Roger Milla
Cameroon soccer star Roger Milla helped South Africa's campaign

Raymond Hack, general secretary of the South African Football Association, summed up the mood of dejection, saying: "We have been badly let down by people we thought would understand our needs the most".

Business Day said that "in choosing Germany for the second time in less than three decades 12 unimaginative Fifa bosses have made clear they are not keen to reform" the World Cup system.

"By not giving the tournament to South Africa, Fifa has missed the opportunity of driving home a wider message - a recognition that soccer has become a truly global sport," it said.

"Clearly, the case has been strengthened for a more equitable system of allocating the World Cup venue. A formula allowing each region a turn to host the event by rotation is long overdue."

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See also:

07 Jul 00 | 2006 World Cup decision
Dempsey quizzed over abstention BBC Sport >>
06 Jul 00 | 2006 World Cup decision
Germany win World Cup vote BBC Sport >>
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