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Last Updated: Friday, 7 May, 2004, 13:21 GMT 14:21 UK
South Africa: The frontrunner
Danny Jordaan
Jordaan does not expect a sympathy vote
South Africa lost by a single vote in the race to host the 2006 World Cup. But they should have no excuses after what happened four years ago.

They lost out to Germany for the 2006 World Cup after one member of the executive committee opted to abstain in the final round of voting.

New Zealand's 78-year-old member, Charlie Dempsey, was even on his way home when the final round gave the World Cup to the Germans by a vote of 12-11.

Although Danny Jordaan's team now faces a similarly strong challenge from Egypt and Morocco, it is clear that South Africa's bid remains the one to beat.

The Fifa executive committee is not going to decide that because we lost by one vote for 2006
Danny Jordaan
SA bid chief Jordaan says he does not expect a sympathy vote on 15 May in Zurich.

"We know that the Fifa executive committee is not going to decide that because we lost by one vote for 2006, we have a right to get 2010," he said.

"Instead, they're going to look at this from a business point of view and that's why we're not expecting any sympathy, nor are we hoping for any."

Instead, South Africa are banking on their solid infrastructure. Most of the major venues on offer for 2010 are rugby grounds used for the 1995 World Cup.

The country also has a ready-built transport network, telecommunications industry and a growing hotel industry, spurred by a massive increase in tourism since the end of apartheid more than a decade ago.

Which is why the South Africans claim that they are presenting Fifa with the "best commercial opportunity" to make the 2010 World Cup a financial success.

Lucas Radebe
Radebe plays for English club Leeds United
Jordaan said: "We're the one country in Africa that has the companies with the capacity to play a role as World Cup sponsors and we've set out from the beginning to prove that."

South Africa's bid campaign banked at least $17,5m in corporate sponsorships, almost all of it since spent on events and travel over the last 12 months lobbying the 24-member Fifa executive committee to vote for the country.

Those lobbying efforts have included using the international appeal of former president Nelson Mandela and his fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

A joking Tutu, in his various encounters with Fifa executive committee members, has promised them "a free ticket to heaven" if they vote for South Africa.

There are negatives, however, and they are big ones. The crime rate in parts of the big cities such as Johannesburg is well known.

Although apartheid was abolished a decade ago, the divide between the wealthy white population and the poverty-stricken black community remains wide.


Key facts about South Africa

Area: 1.22 million square kilometres
Population: 44.2 million
Capital: Pretoria (1.3 million inhabitants)
President: Thabo Mbeki
Languages: Afrikaans, English, Sotho, Tswana, Xhosa, Zulu (among 11 official languages)
Football Association founded: 1892 (post-apartheid FA 1991)
Joined FIFA: 1952 (suspended in 1964, reinstated 1992)
Joined CAF: 1957 (founder member but suspended in 1958, reinstated 1992)
Clubs: 1,500
Registered footballers: 524,700.

Notable fact: After years of isolation as a result of the then-government's apartheid policies, South Africa returned to the international football arena on July 7 1992 when they beat Cameroon 1-0 in Durban. Lucas Radebe is the last remaining member of that side still playing at the highest level.


SEE ALSO
SA taking nothing for granted
05 May 04  |  African
Egypt questions Fifa report
05 May 04  |  African
Morocco: Fifa report 'flawed'
06 May 04  |  African
Morocco: Fourth time lucky?
07 May 04  |  African
Tunisia: Rank outsiders
07 May 04  |  African
Libya: No-hopers?
07 May 04  |  African
Egypt: A matter of pride
07 May 04  |  African



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