'Why the hell shouldn't South Africa host World Cup?'
Fifa president Sepp Blatter has lashed out at critics of South Africa’s ability to host this summer’s World Cup.
Fears have been raised in the wake of the terror attack on the Togo football team at last month’s Africa Cup of Nations in neighbouring Angola, but Blatter has strongly refuted such concerns.
“It’s a nonsense to combine what has happened in Angola with a terrorist attack and link it to the South Africa World Cup,” the head of football’s ruling body told German Press Agency dpa Thursday in Vancouver ahead of Friday’s opening ceremony for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
“11 million tourists travel every year to South Africa,” Blatter added. “Last week an ATP tournament was played in Johannesburg, and they didn’t die.”
Blatter’s comments come in the wake of remarks by German Football League (DFL) boss Reinhard Rauball, who demanded South Africa take action following the attack in Angola.
“It’s kind of an anti-Africa movement, this is not right,” Blatter told dpa.
“There is still in the so called ‘old world’ a feeling that why the hell should South Africa organise a World Cup. Why the hell?
“It was easier for them to go down to Africa, the colonialists in the past hundred years, to take out all the best, and now to take out all the best footballers.
“And when you have to give something back they don’t want to go. What’s that? It is a lack of respect, a lack of respect for the whole of Africa.”