Jerome Valcke, the FIFA general-secretary, said if the World Cup goes like this till July 11, South Africa could become every future hosts’ Plan B. The comment at the daily media briefing on Saturday was as much a snub at all those who doubted the country’s ability to hold the tournament as it was a reflection of how things have gone so far. Valcke admitted that there were glitches on the opening day with all the traffic but everything has happened beyond expectation since. And that includes ticket sales, he said. The no-shows at games, he said, happened at every World Cup.
The quality of football may not have been great but Valcke sought to explain that by saying it reflects FIFA’s efforts to develop the game worldwide. ”Football’s a worldwide sport now. Europe’s not the only confederation strong in the game now.” Refereeing has been an issue, the official said, adding that FIFA intends to do something about it before 2014. Ruling out using video technology, Valcke said FIFA would look at “getting more eyes” to help the match officials.