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2010 South Africa

2010 is year no South African alive at the time will ever forget! From the day the announcement was made loudly and clearly that the first ever world cup on the African continent would be hosted by South Africa, our proud, hard-working and deserving nation, the anticipation was evident everywhere you turned. Preparations began in earnest and many times progress was marred by labor disputes and strikes, mismanagement of funds and a lot that could go wrong did go wrong but South Africa remained united in its support of this tournament and was ready to give foreign visitors and players a typically warm South African welcome!
 
The South African flag became a familiar feature in the country with Soccer Friday widely accepted in schools, workplaces, private and government offices and the memorable world record attempt at most vuvuzelas blown simultaneously in a country as well as another at a stadium. Cars adorned the flag on mirrors, homes displayed the flag religiously before and after the 2010 Soccer World Cup.  
 
It was humbling to watch the opening ceremony as we sang along to the national anthem with all visitors accommodated and catered for, with the players ready to literally put their best foot forward and give soccer fans world-class football to feast their eyes on. Siphiwe Tshabalala became a darling to all South Africans when he shot the first goal of the 2010 World Cup against Mexico. The drama, intrigue, suspense and action were of the nail-biting variety right up until Spain lifted the trophy.
 
Though small business with high hopes of raking in the cash as tourists visited South Africa in 2010 did not attain their expectations, most have adapted their businesses to the South African market and they are thriving. 2010 is the year South Africa outdid itself in hosting the biggest event in sport and achieved this in that united, intentional and motivated South African spirit giving tourists value for their money and a home away from home as they enjoyed entertaining football while soaking in the haven that is South Africa.

How many of us can still recall the year 2010? It has been just over two years now, enough time to have slipped from you memory completely. Or was your 2010 dull and miserable and only left a blur of a memory. Unless, the year 2010 holds great unforgettable memories for you  in South Africa which you will never forget such as ‘new beginnings’ or ‘life changing events/experiences’.

Well, allow me the opportunity to tell you what I can remember from the year 2010 in South Africa. I clearly recall absolute chaos and frustration in South Africa, especially on the roads all due to construction being rushed to complete in time to host the Fifa World Cup 2010. And I recall so many South African’s making alternative living arrangements to be able to rent their homes out to the international visitors. Shame, many went through all of that trouble for no reason at all at the end of the day as they never received any visitors or tenants. I am sure they will do their utmost to never repeat their errors made in the year 2010 in South Africa.

In the year 2010, all South African’s only had one thought in their minds and one word on their lips, which was soccer. I can only imagine the gamblers’ excitement of being able to bet on an actual soccer game hosted live on South African soil. 2010 Will be a year remembered by many worldwide, and never forgotten by all of South Africa. In 2010 South Africa, the big screen television sets where proudly hanging on every pub’s wall and all the pubs where full, the soccer stadiums packed and the parking lots overflowing with vehicles, taxis and buses; not to forget the busy airport welcoming overseas guests and soccer teams. I believe that every South African bookmaker made enough money, from all the gamblers/betters, to last them for years to come.   

I wonder if any of the soccer betters still recalls Fifa World Cup 2010 odds. As at 23 February 2010 Brazil and Spain where chosen as the joint favorites.

2010 will always be a year that south Africans remember well. This was the year that marked the nations’ coming of age. South Africa had hosted the Rugby World Cup, the Cricket World Cup (both to much critical acclaim)and now was ready for the biggest Cup of all. FIFA 2010 will always be remembered among sports fans as something special, though not always with a smile.

South Africa came alive in 2010, and did it with style. There were punters in Europe who were raising safety concerns as well as , concerns about the logistic feasibility. In South Africa people were getting ready for a party.

This does not mean that that was , at any point, a lax approach to get things done in preparation for the 2010 World Cup. In fact the event went off very smoothly and security incidents were down to a minimum, the glitches that did occur are barely worth a mention. Most importantly, South Africa was inviting the world to the biggest party of 2010, and the carnival atmosphere surrounding the event was electric and contagious.

Aside from the soccer, 2010 was also the year of the vuvuzela. This traditional African horn or trumpet made its way onto the world stage in 2010. The loud cacophony at every match drove commentators crazy , but the fans loved it. Who cares that stadiums in Europe and Britain banned the beloved “vuvu” before the tournament was even over, fans still took them back to Europe in the thousands. Never before has a bit of sports memorabilia been hated and enjoyed by so many.

The soccer itself provided many a jaw dropping moment. Bafana Bafana did not let us down with an awesome victory over France. Ghana’s young lions kept everyone on their feet. Diego Maradona’ s antics kept us rolling with laughter, even if that was not his intent, while the Dutch, with a terrible display of foul play, left with no fans. Everyone who travelled to South Africa is happy they did , while all those who pulled up their noses, sorely regret doing so.

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