5 Reasons World Cup South Africa Will Be the Best

World Cup trophy in Seoul

The 2010 world cup in South Africa looks promising to be the best yet.  There’s huge quantities of talent spread out across the Groups.  In addition to the football being played on the pitch, here are five reasons this summer’s world cup will be the best yet for the fans.

1. HD – The beautiful game in High Definition is truly a remarkable thing to see.  Any football enthusiast will tell you the difference between standard definition and HD is night and day. World Cup 2006 was the first to be shown in HD, but it was rare.  It was far less common for someone to own an HD television than it is now as they were more expensive and people had yet to see a need.  HD programming was not yet easily available to everyone, let alone on ESPN.  It was more common on the networks, which is why World Cup 2006 games being seen in HD were mostly on ABC .  HD was still in the beginning stages just four years ago.

2. DVR and Tivo – Similar to #1, DVR’s and Tivo’s were far less common in 2006. World Cup matches are on during typical work hours on weekdays.  While I think the world should be allowed the month off, and I’m sure other football fans will agree, it’s not possible for everyone to watch the matches live.  So we’ll just have to be content with getting through the day to come home and watch the recorded matches. Your spouse will understand (hopefully).

3. Familiarity and Knowledge – Football fans, especially in the United States, are exponentially more exposed to football and the leagues around the world than we were 4 years ago.  Thanks to ESPN, Fox Soccer, GOLTV, and Setanta we have been able to follow leagues overseas like never before.  We take these things for granted now, but it was far more difficult just four years ago to do this.  This means we are much more familiar and knowledgeable of the players of the 32 countries competing this summer. Not only do we get to see the most popular players more often, but we have the ability to be familiar with the lesser known players.  It won’t just be the Ronaldo’s, Messi’s, and Rooney’s that grab our attention this summer, but our relationship with the De Jong’s, Assou-Ekotto’s, and Song’s will be just as appreciated.

4. Location – This World Cup is the first to be played in the continent in the history of the competition.  I can only imagine the sense of pride this brings to the 5 African national teams competing to do well, including the host country which has the potential to advance.  South Africa will also be a great venue for the World Cup because 6 of the 10 stadiums hosting the matches have been completed or renovated in the last 2 years, giving fans a new and unique atmosphere throughout the tournament.

5. Devices – Technology has given us the ability to get more involved with the World Cup.  ESPN3 has given us the ability to watch the matches from our computers and even on replay later. ESPN Mobile TV streams games to our cell phones, iPads and iPhones (via Mobi TV), or FLOTV devices. ESPN has also launched an official World Cup app that brings news, updates, and stats for everything World Cup. EA Sports has come out with the official 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa video game available on April 27th, putting you in the tournament.

Technology has come a long way in the last four years.  I can’t even imagine what World Cup 2014 will bring us.  Why do you think World Cup South Africa 2010 will be the best?

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35 thoughts on “5 Reasons World Cup South Africa Will Be the Best”

  1. I do not think it will be the best, unless the quality of games is exceptional, do not get me wrong I think it will be good, but to beat the classic tournaments of yesterday the standard to beat is very high.

    I am looking forward to it a great deal and am counting down the days.

  2. For me, #3 without a doubt. I have watched so many matches this year that I am actually going to know a lot more players on the 32 teams than I ever have before. They certainly will not seem to be so “foreign”, which will add to my knowledge and enjoyment of what I am watching.

    Can’t wait.

  3. Two reasons why it will not:

    1) Altitude of many of the stadiums is going to be very difficult for the players to deal with even with the cooler temperatures

    2) Those goddamn horns that drown out all other crowd noise and just form an annoying buzzing noise the entire game. I don’t care if it’s some South African tradition, it was very annoying during Confed Cup and will only be worse during World Cup unless FIFA ban them at any matches not involving the South African team.

      1. Those horns are possibley the most annoying sound during a soccer game. It sounds like there are bees nests on the field mics.

  4. Wow, I’d consider paying the 10 extra dollars in June for the mobile TV if it WAS AVAILABLE ON THE IPHONE!!!??? How the hell does AT&T not have the iPhone on the list of compatible phones!? What a joke!

    1. The iPhone supports ESPN Mobile if you get the app Mobi TV. The app is free but it costs extra ($9.99/Month) to get ESPN Mobile and several other channels. Click on the link in the article and it’ll take you to the app and you can check it out.

  5. Good article! I think you make very good points — definitely spot on about familiarity with the players. I might even root for (sorry, “support”) England over America because I know the players so much better! The U.S. team players are scattered across leagues and countries, while basically every weekend I get to see the core of the England squad play.

    1. That is a pretty sad reason to support a team. I can understand you supporting England or another country if the US get knocked out early or you were born in another country, but besides that if you are from the US you should support the US.

      1. i am from the usa. both sets of grandparents came from germany.
        i support germany.

        where u live does not dictate who u support. with your logic, only a person born in that country should be playing for said country. but this is not the case. any naturalized citizen is eligable to play for their resident nation.

        1. I think you should only be able to play for the country that you are born in. Like that boy for Italy Giuseppe Rossi was born in New Jersey, yes to Italian parents and moved to Italy when he was young, but he is an American citizen. Having a choice because you, your parents, or grandparents are only so many years removed isn’t right in my opinion. When the Poland Prime Minister made a player a citizen a day before Euro2008 wasn’t right.

  6. I agree with your 4th point about the location and the significance for those African nations competing as well as for the continent. As far as your other points, they all rely on expensive technologies that I think are far less accessible than your article portrays. I think you’re right, comparing the availability now to that of WC2006, and I would imagine that many readers of this blog do have access to the technology you describe. But HD television, cable, high-speed internet, wireless devices are not a daily reality for the vast majority of people around the world or even in North America or the UK where I imagine a majority of the readership resides.
    I don’t think you’re wrong about the proliferation of technology, perhaps just the size of their impact. Cheers.

    1. Thanks for your feedback. While I agree it may not be a given or a necessity that all supporters have these things available, but I think the probabilities are high that the average person does have one or the other. HD Programming has become pretty standard for most cable and satellite packages, as well as high-speed internet. Also, most people’s workplace or school have access to high-speed internet (though it may not be allowed), as well as local coffee shops have free Wi-Fi. I also think it’s more likely than it was 4 years ago for the average pub or restaurant to be equipped with proper HD set-ups. My point is simply that compared to the 2006 World Cup these items are much more common. Thanks for your feedback and thanks for reading!

  7. I think football-wise it will be a success. But, I too am concerned that the vuvuzela “noise” is going to annoy a lot of players. During the Confederation Cup last year some of the Spanish players, in particular Xabi Alonso, complained about the noise made by the vuvuzelas. From a South African viewpoint it will not be that big a success unless the stadiums are full and the fans from other countries are huge. Right now, only 50% of tickets have been sold and the number of fans travelling to South Africa is about 35%- 40% of what the country expected. Unless this changes in the next few weeks this could well be a financial disaster for South Africa. So success is a relative term.

    1. Only 50% of tickets sold!?

      I think you need to check your facts mate.

      Yes, ticket sales were slightly slower than expected, but at the start of the final sales period last week, there were 350,000 left, having sold over 2.5million.

      And the projected visitors is down from 450,000 to 350,000, again your stat of 35-40% is nonsense.

  8. I think the article should be titled, ” 5 Reasons Why This World Cup Will Be The Best To Watch On TV.”
    I feel like it will be the worst in years for fans going to South Africa. SA is too big and the travel in the county will be a problem. I have also been warned not to go out after dark.

    1. Bob, I am going and cannot wait.

      With a hire car and days to get between games it will be fine. We are treating bits like a Road Trip. The longest journey, JoBurg to Cape Town, is a 2 day drive, which isn’t awful.

      The USA of course was far bigger than SA, and Japan Korea was more of a logistical nightmare.

      As for not going out at night, that is just scaremongering. As with many places, there are certain locations tourists should avoid at night, but there is plenty of nightime fun still to be had in the better areas.

      1. Hey Tom – Cannot wait for you guys to come to our visit our beautiful country – please ignore the negative sentiments you read about SA. If you are in the Johannesburg are, please contact me via e-mail – I would love to give you a taste of our hospatility.

  9. Forgive me if I am off the mark, and it may be because I am blessed/cursed to be born in England who have a strong side, that I feel you should support the team of your nationality #1 then following the end of their participation choose another team maybe for interest.

    For example in the Euro’s I wanted Russia to do well as they kicked our ass to qualify ahead of us!

    1. ESPN3 is definitely showing all of the World Cup games except for those which are being shown on ABC (which totals 10 out of the 64 World Cup games).

      The Gaffer

  10. It’s agonizing to see, I’m afraid to say, ‘certain’ South Africans including some of the media not supporting this thing. Word Cup 2010 was supposed to unite, not polarize the country. Yet evidently judging from some of the comments, outsiders are clearly clueless about Africa in general (this comes as no surprise having lived in the West).

    This is a historic moment for Africa and everyone on the continent should be 110% behind this! Football-wise the players have never been better and I don’t see any reason why it won’t be a huge success though I doubt any African team will go ahead and win the Cup.
    PS Sorry blokes. England however qualified will fail again like the previous 44 years…lol.

    1. Soonerscotty, never thought about it really. But for someone like me who has grown up with it, it’s the most beautiful thing – but probably moreso because of sentimental reasons rather than aesthetics.

      That said, I don’t the picture above does it justice.

      When your country lifts it above their head, it’s the most beautiful thing in the world.

      The Gaffer

  11. Count me in with those who hate the vuvuzelas, does anyone know if they outlawed them for all non-SA games in the World Cup after so many hated them in the Confed Cup. I remember there was talk about it but don’t remember what the actual decision was, if any was made at all.

  12. I would worry about the weather. Here are some of the AVERAGE MINIMUM temperatures in June/July in the host cities:
    Cape Town 7’C (45’F)
    Johannesburg 4’C (39’f) (snowfall June 27th, 2009 – first in 25 years)
    Pretoria 5’C (41’F)
    Polokwane 4’C (39’f)

    Durban, Port Elizabeth and some other host cities can expect milder weather. Certainly the lower temperatures will counter the high altitudes but overall I would say that the weather could be a huge factor in some of the later matches that start 8:30pm local time. A vast majority of the players will be conditioned for warmer weather and it will have an effect on the matches. If its a repeat of last winter in South Africa, it will not be a good thing. I personally like my football dictated by the talent on the field versus the weather conditions. Lets all hope for a mild winter.

    1. What are you talking about?

      Those temperatures are perfect, exacty UNLIKE the last 3 world cups that have been too HOT.

      Those temps are pretty much what the majority of European football is played in from October – March!

  13. Tom Hingley,
    I got my facts and figures from the Durban Daily News while I was in Durban last week. Even though I no longer live in South Africa permanently I go “home” every so often and do talk to family and friends there frequently. The sentiment is that things don’t look very good at the present. The 2.5 million tickets were reserved for sale to other countries and most have not sold to date and some are beginning to be returned. It is planned that unsold tickets will be sold (basically given away) to South Africans for a modest price or free to schoolchildren to make sure that the stadiums are full.

    As for the number of visitors expected, the paper reported that reservations for accommodations are well below expectations and stated that 60-65% were still unbooked. Of course these numbers could change as we get nearer to the tournament. Lets hope so.

    I would not trust any figures given by the South African sports authorities. The many newspapers in South Africa are usually more accurate.

  14. Has anyone been tracking down the conditions of the stadiums’ fields? Word in the sports turf world is that the turf conditions are substandard (at the least) and that the South Africans are scrambling to patch things together. Apparently the South African WC group chose Kikuyugrass, a very substandard native turf species, as the turf ‘of choice’ for the pitches. Kikuyu is a warm season species and the games are being played in South Africa’s early winter conditions. Just what we need, the world’s best playing on poor fields!

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