South Africa to learn lessons from Germany
Danny Jordaan, the CEO of the 2010 South African Local Organising Committee (LOC), was in Berlin on 7 July to unveil the emblem for the next edition of the FIFA World Cup.
Jordaan, together with a delegation from SA2010, has been travelling all around Germany during the 31 days of this FIFA World Cup on a fact-finding mission which will assist in planning and preparing for the next edition in four years' time. Jordaan and his colleagues have learned many lessons from their German counterparts and he took time out from his busy schedule to share some of his experiences with FIFAworldcup.com.
Normally the message from tournament organisers is, If you don't have a ticket, then please don't travel'. However, Germany has opened its arms to fans from all over the world, who have experienced the hospitality and generosity of an entire country. Fans without tickets for the matches have been able to watch the games at the hugely popular Fan Fests, an innovation which has impressed Jordaan.
"Germany had extended the experience and celebration of the game beyond the confines of the stadium into the streets," he told FIFAworldcup.com. "So, all of a sudden, you have a crowd, as we had in Berlin, of one million people gathering to celebrate football. Because of this, a new dimension has been added to the World Cup."
Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the United Nations, praised Germany for the spirit that Germany has shown during the tournament. He said: "The country can consider itself as winners for organising the best World Cup ever. It has also united itself behind the team." This facet has also impressed Jordaan.
"For a long period, Germany was divided between east and west," he said. "This World Cup, however, has put the finishing touches on a new German nation. After the match with Sweden in Leipzig, I saw the German flag from car windows and apartment windows, from buildings, shopping complexes, and government offices. It was an incredible sight. Germany is a unified nation."
Jordaan hopes that the same will ring true for South Africa in 2010. "There are similarities of a historically divided society," he said. "But if we (South Africans) unite and celebrate the achievements of a world-class event, I think also it will put the finishing touches on the building and construction of a new nation."