Sunday, January 10, 2010

More 'South Africa Isn't Angola'

This time it comes from Danny Jordaan, president of the 2010 World Cup organizing committee.

Which means generic angst about security in South Africa must be something the South Africans are feeling.

Jordaan, who is in Angola for the opener of the Cup of African Nations competition, basically said what we suggested yesterday: That South Africa is not Angola.

The examples he used?

Germany and Kosovo, as well as London and Madrid.

To wit:

"To say what happened in Angola impacts on the World Cup in South Africa is the same as suggesting that when a bomb goes off in Spain, it threatens London's ability to host the next Olympics."

And, "If there is a war in Kosovo and a World Cup in Germany, no one asks if the World Cup can go on in Germany, everyone understands the war in Kosovo is a war in Kosovo."

It probably shows more than a little lack of appreciation of African geography and the geopolitical scene there for some of the former colonial states to seem to suggest, "Whoops, there goes Africa again."

At the same time, South Africa has to know that thinking of that sort still exists.

A veteran of African soccer conceded the attack in Angola on the Togolese team bus, in which three died, certainly wasn't good for the image of African soccer.

"It's a very negative blow for African and our football," Kalusha Bwalya, former African Footballer of the Year and president of Zambia's football association, told Reuters.

"It's really disturbing that something like this has happened in the months leading up to the World Cup."

Hence, taking this issue head on ... as Danny Jordaan has ... and addressing it is the proper thing for the president of the organizing committee to do.
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