.- Interviewed by Vatican Radio on the significance of World Cup, Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier of Durban, South Africa said that the event has served greatly to build a sense of unity both within Africa and the world community. He said that the legacy of the tournament will be that it has given the people of the continent the vision that they can do things for themselves.
Cardinal Napier said that the "first" and "most important thing" the World Cup did for South Africa was that it gave Africans a sense of belonging to the world community after having been in the spotlight for the month-long tournament. Reflecting on what that means for the continent, he said it "can only be to our advantage that we recognize ourselves as being an important part of the world community."
The cardinal went on to comment that, as a result of hosting the greatest soccer tournament on the planet, "We believe in ourselves, we can see that we can do things, and we don't have to wait for others to do them for us. And I think that's going to be the most important legacy of the World Cup."
In addition to the feeling of membership on a global level, the cardinal also recognized that the tournament had "brought about a sense of solidarity with other African countries," being not only an event for South Africa, but "an event for Africa."
He asserted that the tournament "will make a bigger impression on the unity of Africa than a lot of words by politicians could have ever done."
Cardinal Napier also hoped that politicians would continue to work as hard as they did to make the tournament a success as they do on initiatives to improve health care and education in the country "when the focus of the world is not on us."