South African President Jacob Zuma surprisingly expressed his optimism for African teams success at the next month’s World Cup to be held in South Africa for the first time in the 80-year history of the tournament.
President Zuma was responding to interview questions during the just ended World Economic Forum at the Mlimani City auditorium in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
He thrust confidence not only to his home team but also said all five other African representatives have the capacity to keep the World Cup within the boundaries of the continent.
Beside South Africa, five other countries who won the World Cup berth are Algeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire.
Of the six teams from the continent only Cameroon have the successful history of reaching quarter-final of the 1990 World Cup in Italia, while the rest have managed a second round berth.
Zuma was, however, not bothered by the past performance while he confidently said the rest of other teams outside the continent will be in for a big surprise in the finals.
The South African President said staging the World Cup in an African soil is a prestige to the entire continent.
He said this is an opportunity for other countries in the rest of the world outside the continent to come and see how good is Africa, where its people are capable to do what others are doing elsewhere in the World.
He insisted that the World Cup will be beneficial not only to the host country but the rest of the neighbours as well.
“We have invested heavily in the World Cup by improving the infrastructure such as new stadiums and other facilities for the world to enjoy soccer in our country,” he said.
He also noted that the World Cup has its hand on economic repercussions as South Africa is looking forward to stage the event successfully.
This is the second time in the 80-year history of the World Cup to be held outside the American and European boundaries after Japan and South Korea co-hosted the championship in 2002.
With the exception of that year, Europe and America continents have in between exchanged hosting status of the World Cup.
Brazil are leading with five World Cup silverwares, their last victory being in Japan eight years ago.