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The Vibe from Abroad – UK media round-up

Despite the UK media being on tenterhooks awaiting the outcome of the negotiations between the political parties following the general election on May 6, this week is important as it heralds the start of the official FIFA World Cup coverage on the BBC and the preliminary England squad has been named. South Africa is very much in the news and judging from the marked increase in the volume of media feeds to my office, this really is the start of the media feeding frenzy.

There is a mixed bag of destination and World Cup coverage from across the UK consumer and trade press: here are some of the stories around today:

  • The BBC kicked off their coverage yesterday with a balanced piece on what the England fans can expect from a visit to South Africa. This would include a noisy, but warm welcome; a range of affordable accommodation; advice to shop around and to be sensible while there, as crime is a problem.
  • The BBC has also launched the World Cup trail – The World Cup from the Rainbow Nation – which will be used to promote their television coverage ahead of the tournament in South Africa. Pity you can’t see it, it’s amazing! It features great music and wonderful snapshots of the country, showing people, the fans, some venues, fauna and flora, choirs, football stars (of course) and the obvious excitement. It’s a long way off from the cliché-ridden official World Cup song.
  • In an interview with BBC Sport, FIFA secretary general, Jerome Valcke, confirmed that FIFA was forced to inject $100-million (R755-million) worth of emergency funding into World Cup preparations in order to ensure deadlines were met. This story has been picked up by numerous media outlets.
  • The news of the SAFA officials’ suspension is being widely reported. But don’t despair; Fabio Capello’s halo has lost some of its shine today after the England coach lent his name to a new website that rates the world’s best players, including, critically, his own.
  • Sky News leads its South Africa reporting with the large number of unsold tickets.
  • The Daily Telegraph leads on World Cup fashion. I shudder at the prospect of the country drowning in acres of polyester and flabby tums and bums that will be on view soon.
  • Travel Weekly reports from INDABA 2010 that the World Cup will boost visitor numbers into South Africa.
  • Business Travel News reports on the transport workers’ strikes ahead of the World Cup.

The rest of the trade press are reporting on the ongoing saga of the volcanic ash cloud that continues to disrupt travel across Europe and, of course, on the British Airways strikes, due to start next week and last on-and-off for 20 days.

But there is more, so watch this space.

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