There have been 18 World Cup tournaments throughout soccer’s meandering history – 10 in Europe, four in South America, three in North America, one in Asia. Never one in Africa, until now. This World Cup in South Africa that begins on June 11 is a democratizing breakthrough of sorts, and is set to open eyes and ears to the offerings of the continent. That’s the idea, anyway, as organizers head down the backstretch toward the month-long spectacle that will be staged at 10 venues in nine cities and viewed by billions around the globe. The tournament has a socio-economic agenda, beyond the playing field: create tourism, jobs, transit systems and a lot of homegrown pride. “A World Cup demands a world class infrastructure,” said Danny Jordaan, chairman of the South African World Cup Committee. “We can use this as a nation. It will be an evolving exercise. It will bring black and white together.” Jordaan was born in 1951, raised during the anti-apartheid movement. He became an activist when he joined Steven Biko’s South African Students’ Organization in the 1970s. Later on, as a lecturer and politician, he worked for the United Democratic Front and the ruling African National Congress…. Read full this story
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