World Cup 2010 has been a `success`: Blatter

Cape Town: FIFA president Sepp Blatter has declared World Cup 2010 a success with the first tournament to be held in Africa coming to a close.

Critics of the decision to bring the competition to the continent stated that problems about high travel fees and crime rates would deter supporters from making the trip.

Speaking to reporters in South Africa on Monday, Blatter was in bullish mood about the attendance figures for games.

"More than 500,000 fans will have come to South Africa and the figure may be even higher," he said.

FIFA had admitted earlier this year that ticket sales had not been as productive as forecast and empty seats have been in evidence at many of the matches.

Blatter insisted, however, that he was "happy" about the turnout and the presence of statesmen such as Germany chancellor Angela Merkel and former USA president Bill Clinton.

"The forecast from `old Europe` was the fans wouldn`t come - well here they are," Blatter added.

"I am a very happy president today and I hope I will be happy until the very end of this week.”

"There is a political dimension to football too - how many heads of states have come to visit South Africa, and they all want to make sure they have the pictures taken in the stands. That`s the power of football.”

"Football gives emotions in this deranged world. Look at the news and you see the world appears to have suddenly stopped and the TV cameras will after 12 July be used everywhere else in the world.”

"We are giving hope to the world that perhaps through football we can become better human beings."

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