With the World Cup final match between Netherlands and Spain tonight, South Africa confounds skeptics who predicted high crime rates and inept management of the World's largest sports event.
Johannesburg, South Africa
With the final match between Spain and Netherlands looming tonight, the World Cup is almost over. Day in and day out, South Africa has shown itself to be every bit as capable as Germany, Athens, or Beijing to hold a major sports event. The skeptics were many, and the skeptics were wrong.
Three hundred thousand foreign visitors came to these games, and while not all of them were happy with their team’s performance – this isn’t kindergarten, where everyone comes out a winner – most of them have gone home safe and sound, and impressed with the host nation.
This wasn’t the script that the tabloid press had written for this event. One British tabloid interviewed drugged up gang leaders in Cape Town, and predicted that armed gangs would swoop down on the helpless tourists like hyenas at a school picnic. Others predicted that unions would go on strike – they very nearly did – or that Al Qaeda cells would target the US and English teams. Agence France-Presse even warned about the baboons of Cape Point, south of Cape Town, which have a rather unpleasant habit of breaking into cars and stealing food from tourists.
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