President hails South Africans for patriotism during FIFA World Cup

08:13, July 12, 2010      

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On the eve of the FIFA World Cup final in Johannesburg, South African President Jacob Zuma has thanked South Africans for the patriotism they showed during the hosting of the tournament.

The final between the Netherlands and Spain kicks off at Johannesburg's Soccer City at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday night.

In a statement released through the South African Press Association on Saturday night, Zuma said South Africans were coming to the end of a historic, vibrant and very African FIFA World Cup.

"When we won the rights to host the World Cup, we knew that working together we would be able to succeed. However, what has happened so far, has exceeded our expectations."

Zuma said the South African government would launch a program soon to thank South Africans in different sectors.

"They deserve to celebrate in style," he said.

He extended special appreciation to South Africans for the passion and excitement that has kept the tournament alive for the past weeks.

"We thank you for putting the country first. We thank you for embracing one another and Africa. We thank your opening up your country and your hearts to the world in a most patriotic and memorable manner."

Zuma said South Africans deserved "a pat on the back" for a job well done.

"As we look forward to the final match between the Netherlands and Spain, let us pat ourselves on the back for a job well done so far."

He called on South Africans to keep celebrating, let the vuvuzelas (plastic trumpets) keep blowing and let the football festival continue at Soccer City and the fan parks until the final whistle.

"This has been a truly inspiring, moving and uplifting month. Well done South Africa," he said.

Source: Xinhua

Special Report: World Cup 2010


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