The FIFA World Cup draw – a warning

Let the moaning begin. Eh?
But yes, because Cape Town is going to be hosting the World Cup 2010 draw on Friday 4th December and there’s going to be a party. And they’re going to shut a few roads to make sure that the partygoers don’t get flattened by… you know… cars and stuff.

There’s a full and comprehensive list of road closures, including times here and there are sure to be some people moaning about the traffic despite the fact that they’ve had adequate warning via the radio, newspapers and internet. And despite the fact that these roads are regularly closed when there are large conferences at the CTICC. And despite the fact that no-one in their right mind would try to drive up Long Street on a Friday afternoon or evening.
Some people are just like that.

The traffic is just the tip of the iceberg though. Some people are still in denial about the whole World Cup thing and they’re going to go out of their way (with the help of the sensationalist SA media and the Daily Mail) to publicise every little bit of negativity that they can possibly find in glaringly bright lights. And with an estimated 700 million viewers fixing their eyes on Cape Town next week, they’ve got their first little platform ready and waiting.

This should be a celebration – and it will be. The World Cup will bring jobs, people, infrastructure and money into South Africa. But possibly worth more than all those put together, it will bring publicity. And publicity can swing either way.
It’s like that, is publicity, flip-flopping between sides like Allan Boesak.
There is, of course, that age old saying that “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”, but that’s complete bullshit. Try telling that to Gary Glitter or… well… Allan Boesak.
While this is a huge opportunity for South Africa, it is sadly also a huge opportunity for those that seek to derail the good things that are happening in this country and the hope that goes with them. I’m talking about the racists, the ex-pats, the union leaders and those who put their own selfish agendas in front of the good of the country. They too will be watching the draw next Friday, but for different reasons to you and I. They will be looking to pounce on anything that is not 110% perfect; be it the traffic, the TV production, the pre-draw entertainment or the weather.
Whatever they can find to dampen the celebration, they will use.

It’s sad that I feel this way, but I think that it is important that someone gets this message out there before the mis- and dis-information spreads its way out across the media. Simply put, you can fully expect the usual situation of the media over-reporting the negative aspects of life in South Africa to be concentrated while the World Cup is on. (And that includes the World Cup draw). Every incident of pickpocketing, poor organisation, drunken fist-fighting, overfilled buses or littering (ok, maybe not littering) will be documented and analysed in minute detail under evocative and exceptionalist headlines. Believe it, because it’s true.

Whatever happens, it is vitally important for South Africa that the optimism and the positive vibe that surrounds the World Cup is not drowned out by the small but vociferous minorities that want to drag this country down. So go and enjoy yourselves, have fun. And take photos and blog it, because that’s exactly what they’ll be doing for the other side.

As for me, I’m planning to leave my comfort zone of Southern Suburbia and take my Dad into town to join the chaos party on Long Street.
Can I, as they say, get a woop woop?!? (Oh, and England picked as team C1? Thanks.)

P.S. I just updated this with some amazing video. Go see.

30 thoughts on “The FIFA World Cup draw – a warning

  1. Infrastructure is great but (not to be negative or anything) it would have been even greater if a blind person hadn’t been behind the new road plans.
    And I’m still wondering where these jobs are going to come from after the world cup.

    But yeah, saw those road closures and tried to see if they were going to effect my weekly Tuesday morning trip into town…they don’t so I begrudgingly have to admit that I have nothing to complain about. Can I complain about not being able to complain? That seems to be the born and bred Saffa way.

  2. Tara > Are you quite, quite mad? The HB and KI plans are awesome. OK, neither was particularly well thought out back when they were built, but they’re really doing all they can to make them work now.
    I think all the fuss won’t start until later in the week, although the FIFA entourage arrive on Monday. And don’t panic – it’ll all be over before next Tuesday. 😉

  3. The nay-sayers should certainly find plenty to moan about if they’re looking for anything that isn’t 110% perfect!

    Actually, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this turns out to be the start of a long succession of success taking South Africa – and the rest of us – right up to the World Cup Final (and beyond). After all, I wouldn’t want anything to tarnish the pleasure as England lift the cup! 😉
    .-= Ro´s last blog ..A Case of Early-Rising … And A Case of PC =-.

  4. Ro > Actually, due to the recent strength of the Rand, we can (and should) achieve 110% perfection here. If interest rates fall again, we may even push for 115%.
    England to win? I think that we have a great chance if we can make it through the Group of Death that Uncle Sepp has organised for us.

  5. Actually I was talking about what they’ve done with the roads in Greenpoint since that’s the one that effects me on a regular basis 😛

    The whole new robot system at the turn off for the stadium is a balls up of note and made traffic there 10 times worse than it was before. Hmm…okay so maybe not the road planners fault, more like the robot programmers…whatever, it’s irritating.

  6. Tara > Ah yes. That is a bit of a mess down there. (Heading off that way in about an hour, as it happens). But a lot of that is only temporary. Once the road is finished, there will be more lanes and (I would imagine) new timing for the robots.

  7. Po > I think that used in context, it’s fine. And this is in context. But agreed: there are nasty and nice people everywhere. And you’re… one of the nice ones. Right?

  8. Thanks for this. If I have to say, I don’t think many realize the magnitude of the event and the massive planning that South Africa and in particular Cape Town has been doing over the last few years. Nobody gets to see all the details, the heavy FIFA requirements, the huge transport operations plan.

    On the issue of road closures, people will moan, even if its the Festive Lights Switch on which has been happening for 43 years, the Minstrels for even longer, the big walks, cycle tours, night markets. In fact Cape Town has been hosting large events for decades allowing pedestrians unrestricted access to large parts of the city

    The average Joe/Jane seems to think everybody just shows up and thats that. No planning, no details, no security…just nothing. Plonk a stadium and the rest will sort itself out.

    They talk of no transport to the stadium, while at this very moment the glass of the bus stations outside the stadium is being installed. etc etc.

    Ignorance is bliss.

  9. You know you’ve been gone from a country for a long time when you read about timing for robots – and then you realise the people are talking about traffic lights! 😀

    As for the complainers – we’ve got the same thing happening here, re: 2012, and many of them don’t even live in London! All I am thinking about are the possibilities my son may get to experience, and just how much more interesting the lead-up to the Games will be!
    .-= Helga Hansen´s last blog ..Last of the summer time =-.

  10. Po > Bittersweet, perhaps?

    Emil > You’ll get a nice view of the stadium, at least.

    ctguy > I, at least, realise that there’s a little more to it than that.

    Ad Wizard > Popping in on the way back from Australia. And no.

    HH > Yes, agreed. I’m sure there’s plenty of moaning about 2012. People refuse to acknowledge that there are any benefits to hosting a major event like this. They see the outlay, and then they are blinkered from the positives.

    Joyanne > Thanks. And the England as team C1 thing?

  11. It’s going to be my turn soon – last night, Bristol decided to bid in favour of spending money (several million) boosting its potential as a host city *IF* England win the bid to host the World Cup in 2018. Which ever way it goes, there are going to be plenty of moaning minnies ’round my neck of the woods! 😀
    .-= Helga Hansen´s last blog ..Last of the summer time =-.

  12. HH > Agree with what you say*. Expect whinging.

    * That was, once I’d picked myself up off the floor. Bristol as host city for the World Cup – hilario!

  13. At the rate the England 2018 bid team is hiring and firing and resigning, it might self implode before they even reach the 2018 bid expo in Cape Town.

  14. JEEZ !!!!! people this will be the maddest event to hit CPT as well as SA !!!! MY blood is most definitely Green and gold !!! i have faith in bafana win or loose and i am extremely proudly South African !!!

    I just wish that the mentality of some people out there would change !!! C’mon Give the guy a woop woop !!!…….for mad ass events join the group on facebook…Funky Productions !!!!

    will be having a killer party in goodhood new years eve !!!! LOL im not advertising Dude (O_O)…
    but brilliant article !!!! may the rythym and funk bless your soul *

  15. Oi! I can’t have you dissing my adopted city, dude!! Bristol is a seriously happening city… much regeneration, plenty of summer-time fun in the city itself, as well as on the outskirts, and we’re only a hop-skip-and-a-jump from Cardiff and the Millennium Stadium! 🙂
    .-= Helga Hansen´s last blog ..Last of the summer time =-.

  16. What pisses me off more than anything else is that it takes a soccer tournament before anything is done about roads, infrastructure, etc. Just goes to show that the capability is there, just not the political willpower.

    For me, more than anything else, this WC is going to represent corruption and people lining their pockets at every opportunity, greater good be damned.

  17. ctguy > Let’s get through this one first before we start worrying about 2018!

    Ashley > Well said. Doesn’t take much to have a good time.

    HH > Yes. Bristol. Riight.

    RichSch > Capability and political willpower is all well and good, but the MONEY that 2010 is bringing in is a hugely significant factor that you have conveniently ignored.
    Sorry for you and your negative attitude. Like I said earlier – it doesn’t take much to go out and have a good time. Your moaning won’t stop the evil deeds you think are taking place, but it’ll sure as hell make you feel a whole lot worse about them.

  18. World Cup Love! I am excited about the draw on Friday so that I can buy tickets and know who is playing! I do not really get excited about buying tickets for A3 vs A1. Give me Nigeria vs Holland on Friday night and i’m there like a bear.

    I will be supporting Bafana, but i can not see them winning the World Cup. I will be screaming my lungs out for Bafana, and i will supporting Ivory Coast. This World Cup is Africa’s world Cup, hopefully.

    Can’t wait for that crazy month next year.

  19. Don > Thanks for the comment. I have tickets for 6 games, but will apply for some more after the draw on Friday. I CAN get excited about the games – don’t care who I get to see, but I will see at least different 3 top seeded teams – just want the atmosphere and to say that I was there.
    My first game is the hugely anticipated A3 v A4:

  20. Went on the final draw stage today. Thought I’d even take a pot home but the guards were watching me.

    Saw Danny at the media centre today too. The majority of the media are a bit shocked at how slick and unchaotic the CTICC is, the glass lifts, tiles, prettyness everywhere.

    Most hilarious is that Danny, Irvin and the new SAFA guy Kirsten have offices right next door to each other in the CTICC. Tension!

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