The Great Debate UK

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Does Angola attack really endanger the World Cup or just Africa’s image?

The bloody attack on Togo's team bus in Angola is a huge tragedy for African football and like it or not, has cast a shadow over the World Cup in South Africa in five months time -- the biggest sports event ever staged on the continent.

It is highly debatable whether the attack, which killed two members of the Togolese delegation as they arrived for the African Nations Cup and forced the squad's evacuation on Sunday, really increases the risk to teams and spectators in South Africa.

Without a doubt, however, it has struck a blow against Africa's concerted efforts to improve its image and reverse decades of gloomy stereotypes painting the entire continent as racked by conflict, disease and despair. Both the Nations Cup, held in a country which only emerged from a 27-year civil war in 2002, and the World Cup were intended to help the process of rehabilitating the continent's image. 

South African organisers reacted with undisguised irritation to immediate suggestions that the Angolan attack should raise concerns over the globe's most watched event. Over the weekend, Hull City Manager Phil Brown was quoted as saying the attack threw a question mark over the World Cup and other Premier League coaches were said to have called for their expensive African players to be called  back from Angola. In contrast, Arsenal's Arsene Wenger said the players should stay, suggesting other managers were motivated more by club self interest than a genuine security concern.

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