“We are 50 per cent through the tournament but we have 100 per cent achieved our objectives to demonstrate a country that has the capability to deliver this event”.

These words from the Chief Executive Officer of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee, Dr Danny Jordaan, sum up his thoughts at the halfway mark of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ - a tournament in which South Africa has been working toward for the past 16 years.

This sentiment was echoed by FIFA Secretary General, Jerome Valcke, who praised the tournament’s organisation.

“If on 11 July we are at the same level as today I would say it’s a perfect World Cup. We are beyond all expectations. We are beyond international visitor figures and we are beyond ticketing sales of Germany 2006. There is not a single part of this World Cup where we have not been able to go beyond the level of past World Cups. South Africa will become the plan B of any future World Cup,” said Valcke.

For Jordaan, who was addressing a media briefing at Soccer City on Saturday, the World Cup has been an important event for South Africans and visitors alike.

“It has been a journey of discovery and rediscovery not only for the visitors but for our people as well. Many South Africans have discovered a new South Africa,” said Jordaan who also reflected on the global party the World Cup has become.

“We are the proud hosts of a wonderful event as people come together around the tournament and we see how people are celebrating Africa’s World Cup – not only in this country, but around the world in the Fan Fests in Japan, Germany, Brazil and many more. That is a joy for us to see”.

A total of 2,284,796 people attended the 48 matches of the group stages inside the stadiums, an average of 47,600 people per game. A further 1,489,525 people visited the FIFA Fan Fests in South Africa and 1,439,711 the international Fan Fests being held in 6 cities.