09 May 2009

Confederations Cup 2009 and World Cup 2010

South Africans have often been criticised for poor attendance at international football matches, so that there is some concern about filling the venues for the Confederations Cup later this year, which is regarded as a curtain-raiser for the World Cup next year.

But perhaps the soccer administrators should look at other sports, as well as at their own past successes. There doesn't seem to have been much difficulty in filling stadiums for the IPL cricket matches, and they aren't even really international. But there has been a lot of imaginative promotion, while the Confederations Cup has been almost kept a secret.

Never mind the IPL -- look at the Africa Cup of Nations which South Africa hosted and won in 1996.

For months before the competition, publicity was good. Kids were urged to collect cards of the players and buy books to stick them in. Bookshops like the CNA had books with a history of the competition, information about the teams taking part and the key players, and biographies of the South African squad. I haven't seen that sort of think either for the Confederations Cup or the World Cup.

In 1996 school kids, even those who were not hardened soccer fans, knew most of the SA team members, which clubs they played for, their strengths and weaknesses. They urged their parents to buy the cards and the books, and as a result the parents, even if not hardened soccer fans, also learnt something about the teams, and the SA players.

But this time round there's nothing like that. Most people don't know who is playing, where they come from, or even what the Confederations Cup is.

It's time for the soccer administrators to pull finger and get some real publicity going.

1 comment:

ThomasLB said...

Maybe you could give hooliganism a try. I hear that's how they keep attendence up in Great Britain.

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