How the Bid was won
|Date: Jul 21 2007|
South Africa came very close to earning the right to host the 2006 FIFA World CupTM. In the end, Germany pipped them to it by 12 votes to 11 and went on to host a wonderful tournament, leaving the South Africans deflated, but nonetheless accepting the agonising defeat with grace.
In fact, South Africa's 2006 FIFA World Cup bid had been rated by FIFA as superior to those of two of the sport's heavyweights, Brazil and England, and equal to that of Germany.
Quietly and with renewed vigour and determination, South Africa's bid committee dusted themselves off and in December 2002 notified FIFA of their intention to bid for the 2010 FIFA World CupTM.
On 30 May 2003, South Africa's intention was reaffirmed by way of their government and South African ootball Association guarantees to FIFA.
Initial awareness for the bid was created by inviting FIFA Executive members to South Africa's local and international 2010 bid launch events. Several meetings were held with FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter during 2003.
A profile at various international football exhibitions also formed part of the international side of the bid, while South Africa also secured the support of Germany's 2006 LOC.
South Africa's message was simple but powerful. It had the best stadia facilities in Africa; many already in existence, some to be upgraded, and some new. It had strong commercial backing from leading international corporations, the continent's largest and most stable economy, a sophisticated media and broadcast industry and a huge South African support base from its millions of citizens.
Also, having hosted the 1995 IRB Rugby World Cup, 1996 CAF Africa Cup of Nations, 1998 IAAF Athletics World Cup, 1999 All Africa Games and the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup, it had a proven record of staging major international sporting events.
South Africa's Nobel Peace Prize winners Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu and FW de Klerk were mobilised to secure support for South Africa's 2010 FIFA World Cup bid, which President Thabo Mbeki embraced as part of Africa's renaissance strategy.
African superstars Abedi Pele, George Weah, Roger Milla, Kalusha Bwalya and Philemon Masinga were used as 2010 Bid Ambassadors and Lucas Radebe, Jomo Sono, Ace Ntsoelengoe and Gary Mabbutt as Bid Supporters.
Major international matches were organized in South Africa to showcase the country's ability, including games featuring a David Beckham-led England in Durban in May 2003, before which Beckham pledged his support to South Africa's bid.
A FIFA Inspection Group, headed by Belgian Football Association President Jan Peeters, gave South Africa the highest grading of the five African countries bidding to host the tournament after their inspection visits. The Inspection Group concluded that South Africa had the potential to stage an 'excellent' FIFA World Cup.
After thousands of hours of flying around the world, hundreds of hours of meetings and frenetic lobbying, South Africa's Bid Committee traveled to Zurich for the announcement of the 2010 FIFA World Cup hosts in May 2004.
South Africa made its final presentation to FIFA's Executive Committee on the eve of the 15 May vote. Nelson Mandela spoke of South Africa's "committed and dedicated team" and President Mbeki passionately spoke of how "Africa's time has come."
Bid Committee chairman Irvin Khoza said the 2010 FIFA World Cup would "enable us to help in the development, future and hope to all the football-loving people of South Africa."
Abedi Pele said a FIFA World Cup in South Africa would bring the "greatest benefit to African football" and in the final speech of the presentation the Bid Committee's Chief Executive Officer Danny Jordaan said South Africa's bid had drawn "from resources that lie deep in the belly of our nation."
The next day, at 21 minutes past noon, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter opened a white envelope, revealing South Africa as proud 2010 FIFA World Cup hosts after the vote by the 24 FIFA Executive members.
South Africa received 14 votes to Morocco's ten, with Egypt not receiving any votes.