Saturday, February 6, 2010

SA 2010: 'I Always Considered It Wrong'

Well, here's someone significant in the European soccer community who isn't mincing words.

Uli Hoeness, president of German club team Bayern Munich, just puts it out there:

"Mr. Blatter had to have his way. I always considered it wrong. Now you have to make the best out of it (but) I am convinced that deep down Mr Blatter has realized that giving the World Cup to South Africa was one of the biggest wrong decisions he ever made."

OK. Thanks for your honesty.

Hoeness's comments were picked up in this story.

His opinion probably is one widely held in Europe but not promulgated in quite such a blunt fastion. It would seem that opinion is particularly common in the countries where fans might normally have been expected to travel to a World Cup. But apparently won't, in their usual numbers, for reasons of security and/or expense.

Germany and England are high on the "usually travel" list.

South African officials, such as Danny Jordaan of the organizing community, have complained about the treatment South Africa 2010 has gotten in English and German media ... but it has always been my experience that British and German tourists are some of the most adventurous in the world. They will go anywhere and tend to love the exotic, and South Africa is nothing if not exotic.

But this tournament seems to have issues that are pushing them away.

That probably says more about the 2010 bid, its organization, its cost, the difficulty of travel to and within South Africa and the country's fairly shocking crime statistics ... than it does about German and English fans -- or the soccer honchos who have talked to them.

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