Mr. Danny Jordaan Chief Executive Officer of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa is convinced the people of Qatar will live a very special moment during the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Mr. Jordaan, said this during a lecture for the Josoor Institute, remembered the South African tournament as “an amazing experience for a nation to see its team being paraded as one of the best in the world. It’s an experience you can only live through.
“It’s the same experience for hosting. For the people of the country, it lifts them, because only the best in the world is now coming to the country, and you are their host. It was an emotional and unbelievable experience and a very special moment for our people, as it would be for the people of Qatar,” Mr. Jordaan said.
Mr. Jordaan was also behind South Africa’s unsuccessful bid for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, before the tournament finally went to his country four years later. But for Jordaan, the tournament in South Africa was one for all of Africa, and he was quick to draw parallels to Qatar’s plans for 2022.
Drawing further parallels to Qatar, Jordaan noted that South Africa received the same amount of criticism, “a lot of attacks came from Afro-pessimists, but we were going to show the world that there was no difference in being African and being world class.
“Now Qatar is pushing the 2022 event as a regional event, as one for the Middle East and North Africa. They must be ready for those challenges, and it would be difficult,” he noted.
For Jordaan, the most memorable moment of 2010 was when his friend Nelson Mandela arrived in front of a sold out stadium for the tournament’s final match.
Sharing his most memorable moments, Mr. Jordaan said, “the day of the final when you know it’s finally over. Nelson Mandela came in his golf cart on the pitch waving to the crowd and, with Iniesta’s goal and the handing over of the trophy, it was such a memorable final. After that I just collapsed. It’s amazing how the energy sustains you but when it’s finally over it all moves out of you. I couldn’t believe it was finally over and we’d made it”.