SA pride boosted by Cup

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The prospect of playing host in 2010 to the most–watched sports event on earth – the FIFA World Cup – is giving South African pride and confidence a solid boost according to the latest market research conducted on FIFA's behalf.

These findings are from the second instalment of a six–wave public opinion survey and show a pronounced upward trend in South Africans' anticipation of the event as well as a deeper understanding of the benefits it can bring to the host nation. The results of the survey, which was carried out by international research agency Sport+Markt, came just one month before South Africa prepared to host the FIFA Confederations Cup. Given that this tournament is regarded by many as the 'championship of champions' and is a major international sporting event, the survey suggests that South Africa is more than ready to embrace world–class football and recognise the legacy such tournaments can leave behind. The following are key extracts from the findings (percentage point change from the first–wave scores in January 2009 in brackets): •Big leap in confidence–83% feel their country will be ready to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup (+10) •An overwhelming 94% (+6) are proud that South Africa is hosting the competition, with 89% (+8) saying the event will bring long–term benefits to the country •92% (+5) believe that hosting the competition will lead to an upgrade in infrastructure, notably public transport, roads and telecommunications •90% (+7) believe the FIFA World Cup will improve South Africa's image abroad •96% (+5) expect the competition to be a fillip for the country's tourism industry South Africans are determined to enjoy the FIFA World Cup irrespective of Bafana Bafana's performance. Eighty–six per cent say their interest is unaffected by the performance of the national team. Lingering doubts do remain, however: 58% of respondents believe that crime will be a concern for visitors to the FIFA World Cup, with the same amount anticipating increased congestion problems in South African cities. Furthermore, 59% have concerns about the possibility of inflated prices in South Africa as a result of the tournament. This urban representative survey was conducted among 1, 000 South African respondents in all major cities and 2010 FIFA World Cup Host Cities, with quotas for ethnic origin, age and gender. Interviewing was conducted face–to–face in calendar weeks 13–15. To request the charts or for further information please contact marketingcomm@fifa. org.

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