SA optimistic about World Cup

Saturday, June 5, 2010
By: 
Nthambeleni Gabara

Pretoria-South Africans are optimistic that their national team, Bafana Bafana, will reach the finals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

According to the latest market research conducted on FIFA's behalf in May, football fever has well and truly taken hold of South Africa with overwhelming positive optimism about the national team's chances.

The findings from the fifth instalment of a six-wave survey reinforce a strong sense of pride in South Africa hosting the show piece.

A total of 92 percent strongly believe that the World Cup will be a success, while 86 percent are eagerly anticipating the commencement of the competition.

Asked to name whom they will be rooting for during the competition, unsurprisingly 63 percent responded South Africa, followed by Brazil with 11 percent and England with 4 percent.

Strong optimism in the national side, Bafana, is reflected in respondents' answer to who they think will win the trophy.

Five-times world champions Brazil were cited as favourites with 37 percent, followed in second place by South Africa with 13 percent and Spain with 8 percent.

Thirteen percent see South Africa reaching the final, while 22 percent believe that Bafana will not make it past the group stage.

The player the majority are looking forward to seeing in action is Portugal's Christiano Ronaldo with 17 percent, followed by Argentina's Lionel Messi with 12 percent and Brazil's Kak with 10 percent.

South Africans are keen to follow the 2010 FIFA World Cup, either live in the stadium or on television.

A total of 38 percent plan to watch as many matches as possible, while 29 percent even intend to watch all games irrespective of the countries involved. Three percent of respondents said they would only watch Bafana Bafana matches.

Similar to the previous surveys, the majority of respondents maintain high expectations in terms of the potential long-term benefits of hosting the FIFA World Cup, both tangible and intangible.

Eighty-nine percent of South Africans believe it will leave a lasting legacy and be remembered fondly over generations. 80 percent feel it will unite the nation, while 93 percent believe the images of the country beamed out across the world will lure more tourists in future.

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