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                                                                                                                                                                                                                         ALWATAN DAILY
   SPORTS                                                                                                                                                                                                     WEDNESDAY, juNE 30, 2010




football


How Nelson Mandela won the Cup for South Africa




   South Africa captain Francois Pienaar receives the William Webb Ellis Trophy from Nelson Mandela. (dpa)                          Anti-apartheid campaigner and later South African President Nelson Mandela and his wife Winnie celebrate Mandela’s release
                                                                                                                                    from prison after 27 years of incarceration. (dpa)
               JOHANNESBURG: Would the football                                                                                                                                                                            inspire the final story against apartheid,” Man-
          World Cup be taking place in South Africa this                                                                                                                                                                   dela reminded FIFA, referring to FIFA’s expul-
          year if it weren’t for Nelson Mandela?                                                                                                                                                                           sion of apartheid South Africa from its ranks
               FIFA president joseph Blatter didn’t seem                                                                                                                                                                   in 1976, the year of a bloody crackdown on
          to think so when he read out the name of the                                                                                                                                                                     student demonstrators in Soweto township.
          winning bidder in Zurich on May 15, 2004.                                                                                                                                                                             On Robben Island, the prison off Cape
               “You are the true architect of this FIFA                                                                                                                                                                    Town, where he spent 18 of his 27 years be-
          World Cup; your presence and commitment                                                                                                                                                                          hind bars, “football was the only joy to prison-
          made it happen,” Blatter said, handing over                                                                                                                                                                      ers,” Mandela continued. That wasn’t entirely
          the trophy to a smiling, snowy-haired Mandela                                                                                                                                                                    true. Some prisoners had also enjoyed a game
          after the announcement that South Africa had                                                                                                                                                                     of rugby, or, in Mandela’s case, a spot of tennis,
          secured the mammoth event on its second at-                                                                                                                                                                      gardening or chess.
          tempt. For Mandela, who had stepped down                                                                                                                                                                              But football did have a special place on the
          as president five years earlier but still enjoyed                                                                                                                                                                island, as the sport of the black majority whose
          huge influence, FIFA’s decision was a ringing                                                                                                                                                                    controlling body brooked no racists. Football
          endorsement of his leadership.                                                                                                                                                                                   games on the island were played according to
               Within 10 years of the demise of the racist                                                                                                                                                                 FIFA rules and prisoners crowded around ra-
          apartheid regime, the Rainbow Nation, which                                                                                                                                                                      dios to listen to the World Cup.
          he had guided to democracy, was being entrust-                                                                                                                                                                        A slew of sporting sanctions, which saw
          ed with hosting the world. “I feel like a young                                                                                                                                                                  South Africa barred from all major sporting
          man of 15,” Mandela, who was 85 at the time,                                                                                                                                                                     tournaments, stung the apartheid state and
          said, obviously delighted.                                                                                                                                                                                       piled pressure on the regime to negotiate its
               The African National Congress stalwart had                                                                                                                                                                  exit from power.
          campaigned vigorously for the tournament, be-                                                                                                                                                                         In February 1990, former president FW
          lieving that the key to reconciling blacks and                                                                                                                                                                   de Klerk suddenly announced he was uncon-
          whites in South Africa lay in forging a common                                                                                                                                                                   ditionally releasing Mandela and unbanning
          identity - a goal that could be advanced by cre-                                                                                                                                                                 the ANC. Within four years an ANC-led gov-
          ating shared moments in sport.                                                                                                                                                                                   ernment was in power and South Africa had
               It was a formula he had tested with great                                                                                                                                                                   ceased to be “the skunk of the world,” in the
          success when South Africa hosted the Rugby                                                                                                                                                                       words of Mandela.
          World Cup in 1995, a year after the country’s                                                                                                                                                                         In recent months, however, there have
          first democratic elections. uS director Clint                                                                                                                                                                    been ominous signs. Tensions have resurfaced
          Eastwood’s 2009 film Invictus retraces the                                                                                                                                                                       between conservative whites and black nation-
          story of how Mandela rallied blacks in sup-                                                                                                                                                                      alists, with both sides showing signs of disil-
          port of the ultimately victorious home side, the                                                                                                                                                                 lusionment at the slow pace of post-apartheid
          Springboks, as a gesture of goodwill towards                                                                                                                                                                     transformation. The moderate majority is look-
          rugby-loving whites. The roles were reversed                                                                                                                                                                     ing to the World Cup to rekindle Mandela’s
          the following year when the mainly black na-                                      The entrance to Robben Island prison where Mandela was locked up for 27 years. (dpa)                                           legacy of forgiveness and reconciliation.
          tional football team lifted the African Cup of                                                                                                                                                                        In a tribute to the elder statesmen, who
          Nations.                                              launch a credible bid for the World Cup. De-       pledged to support South Africa, suddenly ab-       come. South Africa is ready.” This time around,     will turn 92 a week after the final on july 11,
               By 2000, thanks to Mandela, South Africa         spite Mandela personally canvassing coun-          stained from the vote.                              Mandela was leaving nothing to chance.              President jacob Zuma in February called on his
          had accumulated enough experience in host-            tries for votes, South Africa narrowly lost out        Four years later, South Africa bounced              “It is 28 years since FIFA took its stand       countrymen to make the World Cup a success
          ing major sporting tournaments to be able to          to Germany after New Zealand, which had            back with a new bid entitled “Africa’s time has     against racially divided football and helped to     “in his (Mandela’s) honor.” -dpa




Cape Town Stadium all about Location, location, location
          Name: Cape Town Stadium                                            diums, being built in a predominantly white area far from       glass mesh that guards against light pollution.                  Cup stadium has it in spades. The 66,000-seater stadium is
          City: Cape Town                                                    the townships where most football lovers live. At 4.5 billion       World Cup visitors will probably try to integrate Cape       nestled at the base of Cape Town’s iconic flat-topped Table
          Construction: new                                                  rand (580 million dollars), it was also the most expensive      Town into their trip but its remoteness makes it a poor base     Mountain, a few hundred meters from the Atlantic Ocean in
          Completion: 2009                                                   but also the most technologically advanced. The stadium         for games in other cities. It is 769 kilometers from the near-   the Greenpoint neighborhood.
          Gross Capacity: 66,005                                             has a retractable glass roof and a facade of stretched fiber-   est other host city of Port Elizabeth Cape Town’s new World          The stadium has hosted seven World Cup games, and
                                                                                                                                                                                                              will include the much awaited match between Argentina
               CAPE TOWN: Cape Town: Nicknamed the Mother City,                                                                                                                                               and Germany on Saturday followed by a semifinal match
          Cape Town is South Africa’s oldest and most spectacular in                                                                                                                                          on july 6, 2010.
          terms of setting, with the iconic, flat-topped Table Mountain                                                                                                                                           It’s not the biggest of the 10 stadiums but it has the big-
          at its back and white sandy beaches splayed at its feet. The                                                                                                                                        gest price tag of 4.5 billion rand (616 million uS dollars).
          first Dutch settlers landed in Table Bay in 1652, and built a                                                                                                                                       That’s more than Beijing’s Bird Nest. Cape Town’s 2010
          settlement there to supply ships en route from Europe to the                                                                                                                                        manager Pieter Cronje says the stadium’s spectacular set-
          Dutch East Indies.                                                                                                                                                                                  ting hiked up the costs by 1.2 billion rand. The wind that
               under a decentralization deal struck in 1910, Cape Town                                                                                                                                        barrels down Table Mountain was the biggest headache.
          is the home of parliament. It is also the tourist capital, not                                                                                                                                          “It’s as if you’re driving on the motorway and you get
          just of South Africa but of the continent, and a centre of Col-                                                                                                                                     caught in the slipstream of a passing truck,” Robert Hormes,
          ored culture (Colored is a term used for Afrikaans-speaking,                                                                                                                                        the German-born stadium architect explained to dpa.
          mixed-race South Africans). Architecturally speaking, the                                                                                                                                               Around 400 extra tons of steel had to be brought in to
          settler influence is still visible, with many homes built in the                                                                                                                                    prevent the retractable roof from shaking violently. Special
          Cape Dutch style, a style dating to the 17th century, which                                                                                                                                         measures also had to be taken to prevent noise and light
          is characterized by grand, curving gables.                                                                                                                                                          pollution, given the stadium’s location in a residential area,
               Visitors often remark that Cape Town feels more like a                                                                                                                                         near the city centre. The outer teflon-coated fiber glass
          European than an African city, because it has a thriving cafe                                                                                                                                       membrane diffuses the light at night, giving the oval sta-
          scene, people are less car dependent than other cities, and                                                                                                                                         dium a soft, almost fairytale quality.
          has museums and galleries in plentiful supply. Its vibrant                                                                                                                                              From the beginning, the venue was beset by controversy.
          jazz scene and surfing culture give it a bohemian feel. The                                                                                                                                         Many said the stadium was too far from the Cape Flats which
          Cape region’s famous vineyards and fruit orchards have also                                                                                                                                         include the vast area of black and mixed-race townships to
          given the city a foodie culture.                                                                                                                                                                    the south-east of the city, where most football fans live.
               Ascending the 1,087-metre hulking Table Mountain by                                                                                                                                                Others argued that the city’s rugby stadium should have
          cable car or by foot is a favorite tourist activity. Apart from                                                                                                                                     been upgraded for the World Cup instead of building a new
          the great views, the mountain and the larger Cape Peninsula                                                                                                                                         venue, which could become a white elephant.
          are covered in thousands of species of fynbos (Dutch for                                                                                                                                                The city has two Premier Soccer League teams, Ajax
          fine-leaved plants), which make up the Cape Floral King-                                                                                                                                            Cape Town and Santos, but neither team has enough sup-
          dom, the richest biome in the world.                                                                                                                                                                port to fill a stadium of this size.
               Robben Island, where former president Nelson Man-                                                                                                                                                  A consortium composed of Stade de France and local
          dela and other leaders of the anti-apartheid movement                                                                                                                                               company SAIL has been chosen to operate the stadium af-
          were imprisoned for many years, is also a popular day trip.                                                                                                                                         ter the World Cup. It plans to attract concerts, operas and
          The island is visible from the new 70,000-seat Cape Town                                                                                                                                            other big events. Meanwhile, the public park around the sta-
          stadium, which is nestled at the bottom of Table Mountain,         The 66,000-seater Green Point stadium nestles at the base of Cape Town’s iconic flat-topped Table Mountain, a few                dium, Greenpoint Common, is also getting a facelift. During
          within walking distance of the beach.                              hundred meters from the Atlantic Ocean in the Greenpoint neighborhood. (dpa)                                                     the World Cup, a Fan Mile will link the stadium with the
               The stadium was the most controversial of the 10 sta-                                                                                                                                          city’s main train station. dpa

				
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