Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Different Realities - the soccer world according to the media
By pure coincidence I have been reading today two different news items, one from South Africa's Mail and Guardian (the country's only quality weekly news magazine) and one from Der Spiegel (Germany's only quality weekly news magazine). Both report about the upcoming FIFA soccer world cup in South Africa. Der Spiegel discusses the likelihood that South Africa might lose the world cup to another country because it's allegedly far behind schedule in terms of building the promised venues and other infrastructure required. Doubts have been raised with regard to the competence of the South African organising committee.
That's one reported reality then.
Another reported reality is that published in the Mail and Guardian today. Donwald Pressly reports that the main issue currently pre-occupying the sports ministry is legislation designed to ensure that the old South African flag (ie the apartheid state's flag) is proscribed during the soccer world cup. This probably is a kind of Quixotian activity, given that soccer in the country is a predominantly black kinda event. Whites tend to stick to other types of sports including rugby and golf.
If Der Spiegel is correct, of course, one has to wonder whether the country has its priorities right as far as the world cup is concerned. Whether a country with the type of social problems South Africa faces should invest into massive sports infrastructure developments such as those required to host the soccer world cup, is probably a question worth pondering.