Blatter hands South Africa $100 mn for World Cup
Johannesburg: FIFA boss Joseph Blatter announced that 685 million rand (USD 100 million) in proceeds from the 2010 World Cup would be ploughed back into health, education and sports development in South Africa.
"FIFA are not a circus where we pitch our tent and remove them when the event is over," Blatter said after a meeting with President Jacob Zuma at Soccer City, the stadium in Soweto township where Spain beat the Netherlands in the World Cup final on Jul 11.
"FIFA will leave a lasting legacy for the youth of South Africa thanks to this successful World Cup," Blatter added, launching the 2010 FIFA Legacy Trust.
Blatter was fulsome in his praise of South Africa`s hosting of the 32-country tournament, which was universally praised as a thumping success.
"South Africa`s showed the way to go. It was not easy bringing the World Cup here, but we succeeded and look forward to breaking new ground in Russia and Qatar," he said.
South Africa`s share of the money that FIFA grossed from the tournament includes the 137 million rand that were used to build new headquarters for the South African Football Association next to Soccer City.
Accepting the remainder of the bonus, President Jacob Zuma said the tournament had helped foster a sense of national pride and African solidarity.
"Our expectations were exceeded," he said.
At the same time the World Cup had underlined the need for greater local investment in football development, Zuma noted.
South Africa were the first hosts of the tournament to be knocked out in the first round.
And only one African team - Ghana - made it to the quarter-final of this year`s event.
Zuma said school sports would be revived and sports facilities would be improved in rural communities, with the aim of building better teams.