Sepp Blatter, FIFA President and Danny Jordaan, CEO of the Local Organising Committee have been named the National Press Club – Glenrand M-I-B Newsmakers of the Year for 2010 for the successful hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
National Press Club Chairperson Yusuf Abramjee says the 2010 FIFA World Cup was in the media almost every day in 2010 and it was on the lips of most South Africans for many months.
“South Africa was the first African country to host a football world cup tournament. Ten stadiums were built, of which five were brand new iconic stadiums, more than three million spectators and 400 000 international visitors visited South Africa in two months.
“Government spent about R600 billion on infrastructure development, much of this for world cup related projects and invested R170 billion into the transport system in five years from 2005 to 2010.
“The South African Police Force spent R640 million on the deployment of 41 000 officers specifically for the event, resulting in the safest tournament ever. And the word vuvuzela was taken up in the dictionary,” says Abramjee.
According to Grant Thornton the 2010 FIFA World Cup contributed R55 billion to the South African economy between 2006 and 2010, generated 415 400 jobs and contributed R19,3 billion in income tax to government.
“The award is made on the grounds of impact, news value and media attention,” says Abramjee.
According to Monitoring SA the 2010 FIFA World Cup was mentioned no less than 20 700 times in the South African print media, more than 10 300 times in the broadcast media and over 16 700 times on online media, just around the time of the tournament.
“Over two million tweets were recorded during the tournament. The most tweets ever recorded during a single event were at the end of the final match.
“The nation rallied behind Bafana Bafana and we wore our football shirts with pride. The world cup created much excitement, unity and patriotism. South Africa was taken to the world. Who will ever forget the scenes on the streets of Sandton and other towns and cities when, two days before the opening world cup game, tens of thousands of people converged to support Bafana Bafana.
“The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the biggest support ever for any sport in the history of South Africa,” says Abramjee. “The tournament brought lots of excitement, fun and a great vibe and made us proud South Africans. Blatter and Jordaan and their teams did us proud.”
The National Press Club is synonymous with the Newsmaker of the Year award. Over the years the club has recognised and awarded many newsmakers. Previous recipients include President Zuma and former presidents FW de Klerk, Mandela and Mbeki. Other newsmakers include Hollywood star Charlize Theron, Zachie Achmat and the Treatment Action Campaign, the late Hansie Cronj� and various other sporting personalities, Helen Zille, ESKOM and Cope. A date for the award function will be announced soon, where the winner of the National Press Club � North-West University Journalist of the Year competition will also be announced.