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ExtraVirgin August 2010
Environment
Environment Praise for South Africa's hosting of the World Cup has been so unanimous and resounding that talk is already of a bid for the 2020 Olympic Games. With write-ups like these from the world's top publications, few would bet against us. Even the Aussies gave us our due.

Los Angeles Times

South Africa's newspapers on Monday couldn't stop congratulating themselves and the nation for putting on what everyone said was a hugely successful tournament. Few visitors heading for the airport would have disagreed. Everything that was supposed to go wrong, went right.

London Independent

South Africa, for its part, rose to the – considerable – challenge. The venues were completed in time. Visitors were made welcome and enjoyed themselves. Fears that tourists could fall victim to the country's high incidence of crime were soon shown to be unfounded. Indeed, crime actually fell. It may be unrealistic to hope that the new spirit will become permanent, but it shows what a combination of efficient policing and a month of major sporting events can do.

The country now has an international success that, 20 years after the end of apartheid, every South African can take pride in. Its new task will be to translate this sense of achievement and common nationhood into something more lasting. It will not be easy, but it suddenly looks more possible than it did four weeks ago.

The Guardian

South Africa's record of optimism in response to a terrible historical legacy has been a vital social and economic asset. The World Cup, as a down payment on a nation feeling upbeat about itself again, was money well spent.

The Australian

The country is bursting with pride at proving wrong the doubters who for years feared that the nation's high crime rate and poor public transport would undermine the tournament. But the event went off without a major hitch, as hundreds of thousands of foreign fans descended on the country, and South Africans wrapped themselves in a patriotic spirit that bridged the still sharp racial divide.

Fifa president, Sepp Blatter

A big compliment to SA and a big compliment to the South African government for living up to all the guarantees they gave to Fifa. Africa has proven that it can organise a World Cup. Africa has proven that it can organise big tournaments. The compliment must go to SA and not to Fifa. The perception that people outside of this continent had about Africa has changed.