On a visit to his home town, Chief Executive Officer of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa, Dr Danny Jordaan, took the time to open an art exhibition in Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth.
As one of the patrons, along with Nobel peace-prize winners Archbishop Desmond Tutu and F W de Klerk, Jordaan officially opened the Football - a dialect for hope exhibition at a gala ceremony in the coastal city.
The forty-piece exhibition by Port Elizabeth-based artist Duncan Stewart examines the role of football as a form of hope for people of impoverished nations throughout the world.
Jordaan commended Stewart on his artwork which included the representation of three of South Africa's new stadiums, Durban, Nelson Mandela Bay and Cape Town, as feeding bowls. For Jordaan, the exhibition shows that football can be an important vehicle for hope.
"That is what football is about. It is the most democratic sport in the world. It can be played by anyone, anywhere at anytime, from the favellas of Brazil and the streets of New Brighton to the football cathedrals of Europe. It is a sport where a child from a poor household has the same chance as a child from a privileged background, and is a sport equally enjoyed by both. There is nothing else in the world - no sport, no ideology, no religion, that captures the world's attention the way football does. It brings people together, rich, poor, old, young, in a way nothing else can, and next year we get to celebrate it with the entire world," Jordaan said.
Football a dialect for hope project director Kaylene Levack said, "South Africa as the host country of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ has launched the project to protect and promote the core values of democracy and freedom globally and especially in vulnerable countries."
The exhibition will be digitised and serve as a multimedia tool, which will be used to implement a democracy and leadership programme in 14 countries over two World Cups. The project will visit two locations in each of the 14 countries where facilitators will run 28-day workshops per location. Here youth leaders and civil society representatives will engage in the programme and discuss issues around their hopes, positive citizenship and democratic processes.