This is borne out by the fact that when the Fifa volunteer application process closed on Sunday, more than 37 400 people had applied to be part of the spectacle, with many of the applications coming from as far as Brazil, Ghana, Australia and the United States.
The foreign applications, however, will not be considered, only those from South Africans.
The 16-match tournament - billed as the ‘festival of the champions’ as it pits the champions of the six Fifa Confederations, reigning world champions and next Fifa World Cup hosts against each other, will take place from June 14 to June 28, 2009 at Ellis Park, Loftus Versfeld, Free State Stadium and Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace, in the four South African host cities.
Jo’burg residents led the pack with 17 262 volunteer applications by the time of the closure of the process, followed by Bloemfontein with 7 401, Rustenburg with 6 764, and Tshwane with 5 981; all within a space of two months.
“We are humbled and greatly encouraged by the incredible response from South African residents …. it shows that our people are enthusiastic about playing their part and getting involved in the success of the Confederations Cup and the World Cup,” said Danny Jordaan, CEO of the 2010 Fifa World Cup Organising Committee South Africa.
The Confederations Cup will see World champions Italy will be competing with the newly crowned kings of Europe Spain, the Pharoahs of Africa Egypt, and South American champions Brazil.
The other teams who have qualified for the Confederations Cup are CONCACAF champions United States and Asian champions Iraq, with hosts South Africa and the incumbent Oceania champions completing the line-up of teams vying for the title of “Champion of Champions”.
A total of 4 030 volunteers will be required in the four Confederations Cup host cities to assist in operational areas such as accreditation, administration, information technology, language support, logistics, transport, information services, media and marketing etc during the tournament.
Unfortunately, due to the volume of responses received, the 2010 Organising Committee Volunteer Programme will not be able to individually contact all applicants to inform them of their application status.
If the 2010 OC Volunteer Programme has not contacted an applicant who has applied by the end of November 2008, it will therefore mean that the application was not successful.