The entertaining football played in many of the matches of the FIFA/Confederations’ Cup has been to the liking of the FIFA officials in Riyadh.
"The average of 3.5 goals per match speaks for itself," said FIFA General Secretary Joseph S. Blatter after the completion of the twelve first round matches on Wednesday.
"There have been plenty of spectacular goals among the 42 scored so far. Some coaches may be unhappy about their defences conceding so many, but the same coaches have also sent their teams out to play positive attacking football.
"That has given the fans some really spectacular football. The way that the Saudi fans took to South Africa, in particular, showed how genuine attacking football is what the public wants to see."
Blatter also expressed his satisfaction with the level of fair play, pointing out that with only one red card and 40 yellow cards so far, there have been more goals than cautions. Refereeing standards in the group matches have generally come up to FIFA’s expectations.
Commenting on the general organisation of the matches, Blatter reiterated that the tournament was running smoothly and FIFA’s only disappointment was with the size of the crowds.
"Anyone watching the games on television will have seen how entertaining the football can be in this championship," he said. "So we hope the Saudi fans will show their love for football and not miss the semi-finals on Friday, both of which promise to be very exciting."