South Africa Proves World Cup Ready

Critics hushed by successful Confederations Cup
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Jul 1, 2009 4:50 PM CDT
Fans cheer during a Confederations Cup Group A soccer match between South Africa and Spain last month.   (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
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(Newser) – With the just-completed Confederations Cup a success, South Africa has passed its dress rehearsal for the 2010 World Cup, Nicolas Brulliard writes for GlobalPost. The African nation faced more scrutiny than any previous host, but that now appears overblown. Enthusiastic fans turned up despite the winter chill, and the nation’s high crime rate didn’t affect the games. The main drawback was Johannesburg’s poor public transportation.

Many fans arrived late, or not at all, because of the city’s traffic. Some games were also poorly attended. The president of soccer’s international governing body gave South Africa a 7.5 out of 10 for its performance, noting that logistics still need work before the world’s most popular sporting event hits next year—but praising the nation’s hospitality.