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UN chief praises World Cup

2010-07-15 07:44
Cape Town - The United Nations on Wednesday added its voice to those lauding the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

"Following the final match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, the United Nations assesses the tournament as a great success for all involved parties," UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said.

Irrespective of the result of the final, the real victor of the 2010 World Cup was Africa and the South African people.

"There is no doubt that this World Cup has been a success for South Africa and for the entire African continent," Ban said.

African renaissance

"It is my hope that this renewed focus on Africa will lead to an African renaissance and I call upon all parties to focus on ensuring that the success is sustained."

Ban acknowledged the efforts of the government and the local organising committee in organising and sustaining an event of this magnitude.

Its organisation surpassed expectations, as the tournament took place in a positive spirit and safe environment for athletes, fans, observers, and local community members alike.

While there might have been doubts prior to the World Cup about staging the event in South Africa, there was now widespread confidence in the ability of the region to stage such global events, he said.

FIFA should also be commended for its commitment to using the momentum and attention of football's greatest stage as a catalyst for development and economic stimulus for the African region, including its 20 Football for Hope centres throughout Africa.

Read more on: un fifa ban ki-moon

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