South Africa Pleased To Welcome England To The World Cup


The country is ready to host next year’s event and some teams will light up South Africa’s economy.

If the World Cup 2010 draw places the England’s team on the pitch at Loftus Versfeld Stadium, it would be a happy accident, according to Pretoria restaurant and bar manager Andre Malan.

“That’s would be our first prize, I think everyone says they would definitely want them at their stadium. They’ve got the largest following of supporters,” the manager of the sport haunt Eastwoods Tavern told

Malan speaks from experience. His establishment, which is very close to Loftus Stadium, fed and watered 6,000 rugby fans on match day when the touring British and Irish Lions tour took on the Springboks in June.

“It’s important to have teams like England and Holland to be part of this spectacular because they’ve the largest following of football supporters in the world. You want the big teams playing,” he said.

England’s thrashing of Croatia 5-1 put Fabio Capello’s team in the running to relive their sole 1966 glory at Africa’s first World Cup and also saw immediate media reports of a rush for flights to South Africa.

Failure to qualify would have been a dent to the event said Mark Williams, South African tourism director for the United Kingdom and United States, whose fans have snapped the most match tickets after local sales.

“When the Lions tour came to South Africa, there were close to 40,000 British or English that came out to South Africa and spent a billion rand,” he told

“So from a football perspective, hopefully it will be a bit more and hopefully they will spend a bit more.”

The World Cup is expected to boost the South African economy by R55.7 billion, generate 415,400 jobs and draw R19.3 billion into the government’s tax coffers, research house Grant Thornton predicts.

And more than 480,000 football tourists are tipped to spend R8.5 billion during the month-long championship in June.


~ by footballdirecta on September 19, 2009.

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