The resounding success of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ has set a new benchmark against which future global showpieces will be judged. That was the verdict of FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke, who was addressing members of the media following the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee board meeting in Johannesburg on Thursday afternoon.
Valcke also announced that in the wake of the tournament, the first FIFA World Cup to be played on African soil, a trust fund will be formed to oversee the money FIFA will give South Africa. It will be managed by both FIFA and the South African Football Association (SAFA). Valcke also revealed that FIFA President, Joseph S. Blatter will travel to South Africa in the near future to meet South Africa's president, Jacob Zuma. The FIFA President will use this meeting to outline in detail the benefits of the FIFA World Cup for South Africa and the legacy projects that will ensure that these benefits continue.
“South Africa’s success has created a new benchmark," said Valcke. "When I think about the road that has been travelled, there is a lot to be proud of. I believe that last year’s Final Draw (in Cape Town) was one of the best I have seen and that is because everything was planned thoroughly. The success was a result of a close working relationship between FIFA and the host country, in this case the Local Organising Committee. We were prepared for any event. In many ways, South Africa was a unique experience for most of us.”
Turning his the trust fund, Valcke said that it would ensure the money given to South Africa after the FIFA World Cup will be directed towards developing football in the country. “This morning we had a long discussion about a number of issues. Of course we are still busy finalising a number of those, so we are not in a position to present all the figures. However, I can confirm that today it was agreed that we should create a trust fund. The money that FIFA will leave in South Africa will go towards that trust fund, which will be formed very soon. This was a unanimous decision taken at the board. This will be a perfect opportunity for SAFA to bring other investors on board for the future who will also contribute to this trust.”
Danny Jordaan, CEO of the Organising Committee, said that South Africa will continue to benefit from hosting the FIFA World Cup for a long time to come. “The people who came to South Africa had a great experience and I’m told that up to 93 per cent of them said they will definitely come back to the country to visit.” Jordaan also made a point of publicly declaring his support for the trust fund.
Stadium and infrastructure legacy
Jordaan said the infrastructure left after the World Cup will provide a lasting legacy for the country. He said plans are afoot to ensure that the stadiums constructed for the world’s greatest showpiece are utilised extensively in the coming years and decades. “The country is in a stronger position than before. We are in a position where we can make bids for other major international events and we will do so.
"Durban is already talking about bidding for the Olympics and they have the infrastructure already. All they need to do is to make a few adjustments to meet such requirements. After the World Cup, Soccer City hosted one of the biggest rugby matches in this country and the same applies to other stadiums. These will continue to be national assets."