Reuters Soccer Blog
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South Africa’s hosting of the World Cup is supposed to be a watershed for the world game and the African continent, an opportunity to emphasise the international flavour of the game and at the same time give an under privileged continent a chance to prove its potential and bask in the world spotlight.
To that end South Africa is a flurry of construction as new stadiums go up along with hotels, rail and road projects and a myriad of other infrastructure improvements.
But the most important building project should be the country’s football team, who have been to two previous World Cups but have never shown the ability to be truly considered among Africa’s real soccer superpowers.
South Africa won the African Nations Cup 12 years ago, when they hosted the tournament, reached the final two years later and were third in 2000. But it has been a downhill spiral ever since and on Saturday the team were effectively eliminated from the qualifiers for the 2010 Nations Cup finals in Angola.