BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
    You are in: Football: Africa  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Teams
Statistics
FA Cup
Eng Prem
Internationals
Champions League
Uefa Cup
Eng Div 1
Eng Div 2
Eng Div 3
Eng Conf
Scot Prem
Scottish Cup
Scot Div 1
Scot Div 2
Scot Div 3
Europe
Africa
League of Wales
Cricket
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Golf
Motorsport
Boxing
Athletics
Other Sports
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

 Tuesday, 14 January, 2003, 12:59 GMT
Fans back their bids
Nigeria fans
Dr Oladipo says Nigeria's fans are the most disciplined in the world
The 2010 World Cup may be Africa's tournament - but there is little solidarity between the countries competing to host it.

The BBC brought together fans from Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa to debate who should win the right to hold the world's greatest football tournament - and the competition was as fierce as any action on the pitch.

"In Nigeria football is like a religion", said Super Eagles fan Dr Raifu Oladipo.

"Like a religion? In South Africa it IS a religion," retorted Cape Town resident Boebie Schloss.

And not to be outdone, Alaa Abdulgani in Cairo said football had the same status in Egypt - adding that Egypt is more qualified to host.

"I'm sure that the stadiums - we have plenty of stadiums - would be filled", he said.

That lead Boebie to defend South Africa's attendances, which were comparatively low during the 1996 African Nations Cup, the last major football tournament to be held in the country.

"In all sport, when you have minor teams playing you don't get a full stadium. At the World Cup, where there will be no small teams, the stadiums will all be full - guaranteed.

"South Africa has the infrastructure, we hosted the rugby World Cup, we're hosting the cricket World Cup now as well."

"I don't think you play football like you play rugby," responded Dr Oladipo.

"Football is our main sport in Nigeria. We have taken part in almost all off the competitions organised by Fifa - we hosted the world in 1999 [in the Under-20 World Cup]."

Dr Oladipo added that he believed Nigeria's success on the field would also help their bid.

"Where did South Africa get in the 1994 and 1998 World Cups?" he asked.

"Are they going to give it to a nation that has not been doing well? No!"

But Alaa was quick to point out this equation does not always work.

The Rose Bowl, home of the 1994 World Cup Final
A lack of class did not stop the USA hosting the World Cup
"The US held the World Cup in 1994, and it is not a world football power," he said.

"If you're talking about the bids in Africa, we know that it is not just our three countries - Libya has also bid, Morocco and Tunisia may bid jointly - but I think we can see us three are the front-runners."

Which leaves only one question - who do the fans really think will win the bidding war?

"If I had to lose my house and sleep out on the street, I would bet Egypt," says Alaa.

Boebie is equally unequivocal - "I will not only bet my house, but also my wife and children, on South Africa!"

While Dr Oladipo is as certain as the other two.

"I simply urge everyone to back Nigeria to host the world. This is football, and we are ready to give our best."


Africa's bids

Forum
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.


 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales