So, FIFA boss Sepp Blatter headed to South Africa today to once again proclaim that things are on track for hosting the 2010 World Cup despite a myriad of construction, infrastructure and security troubles. Blatter has reiterated his point that barring a natural disaster South Africa will indeed host the event in two years. This time it warrants a post for this absolute gem of a quote:
""When I left the plane and arrived on African soil, I started dancing."
The question, I suppose, is what kind of dance did Blatter bust out upon landing? A jig? An MC Hammer shake? Something from "America's Top Dance Crew"? A little bit of "Heidi" inspired twirls? (Personally, I'd have liked a Mr. T breakdance.)
Either way, regardless of what Blatter says the 2010 World Cup will look very different that any previous offering. Logistically it seems very tough to believe that teams and fans are going to be able to move easily across South Africa as they have at past tournaments. Are fans from around the world willing to pay exorbitant prices to get to South Africa when their safety might come into question?
Meanwhile, four stadiums are still in construction, while the other six are being upgraded. This doesn't even take into account criticism that multi-billion dollar projects hardly help the normal everyday citizens in a nation with a per captia income of $5,724.
Still, it's a noble idea for Blatter to bring the sporting world's biggest event to the African continent, which has become a major contributor on the world stage. It would be a shame that if things aren't ready the organizers push forward anyway when numerous countries (England, Germany, the U.S., etc.) could step in and host. Ideally, the 2010 event could have been moved to Brasil -- the 2014 host -- except the South American country is having similar stadium construction troubles as South Africa.