afrol News, 15 June - After more than ten football matches plaid in South Africa, spectator attendance to Africa's first FIFA World Cup is slightly higher than that of Germany in 2006, figures released by FIFA today showed.
Since the start of the tournament, South Africa has recorded an average attendance of 53,019 while Germany stood at 52,019 for the same period.
This is as nearly as high as the figures recorded after the 1994 World Cup in the United States. FIFA spokesperson Nicols Maingot said what the statistics say is that for every match so far, more than 53,000 people attended a game.
"These are good attendance figures because the last time we recorded nearly similar figures was back in 1994," Mr Maingot said. The only difference is that stadiums in the US have a bigger capacity as compared to South Africa's.
However, the number of goals scored in this year's showpiece is lower than any other scored in previous World Cup events. Only 18 goals have been scored after 11 games. This has fuelled criticism that the first African World Cup could be regarded as "boring".
But Mr Maingot said the real goal average would only be reflected after the tournament. "It would be very wrong for people to make conclusive decisions now. Let's wait until the end of all 64 games," he said. At least 37 yellow cards and four red cards had been issued since the start of the tournament on 11 June.
Meanwhile, the trademark of South Africa's World Cup, the vuvuzela, is dividing the global football audience in a hate-it or love-it attitude. While the World Cup at large, with its positive reporting from South Africa and a great organisation, is a superb marketing for the country and Africa at large, the vuvuzelas in some countries threaten to ruin this positive image.
In most non-African countries, the vuvuzelas have been among the major issues of the press covering the World Cup. Especially in the northern part of Europe and North America, a large majority of football fans in polls say the "hate" the vuvuzela noise, some even saying the World Cup should "never again" be organised in South Africa.
In other parts of the world, including southern Europe and Latin America, football fans are more split, with large groups being positive to the vuvuzelas. But also here, TV producers are tuning down the vuvuzela noise as best as they can during live transmissions.
But, apart from the vuvuzelas, TV productions from the South African World Cup all over the word are getting a positive response. Reporters in the country also produce travel and politics related news stories and reports, mostly giving a very positive image of South Africa before and after the matches.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.