Updated News from the South African World Cup 2008:
Perhaps this is not the appropriate heading for this column, but neither is this meant as an excuse, only a sincere apology from the South African Roller Hockey Federation and the World Cup Organizing Committee to everyone the world over that expected and rightfully so, constant and up to the minute updates during the event.
Unfortunately, this was not meant to be, but considering the fact that both the Federation and Organizing Committee comprise a reduced number of elements with a strong passion for the game, with no previous experience and no financial backing of any sort, based on the compliments received from all the visiting delegations and the higher echelons of the CIRH, we honestly feel we exceeded all expectations.
Associação Portuguesa de Futebol Cultura e Recreio (APF), accepted the proposal, took on the challenge, made a commitment, improved the facilities, asked for nothing in return and will go down in the history of the sport as the first venue in Africa to have hosted a Roller Hockey World Cup.
We commend the Committee for their determination, insight and hard work before and during the event. This federation is encouraged by this attitude, which not only strengthened our relationship but is a precursor for future opportunities for working together.
We hereby wish to thank Mrs Harro Strucksberg and Francesco Rossi, CIRH president and vice president respectively, Mr. António Rocha, president of the Comission International des Arbitres, the presence of The Honourable Mr. A.M. Moshudulu, Mayor of Emfuleni, the Angolan Skating Federation for the generous financial contribution, Mrs Boaventura and Miguel Rodrigues of Wall Street - Publicidade, Comunicação e Imagem for facilitating the sponsorship of the National Team kits, Tony Azeredo of Azeo Promotions, Webber Wentzel Bowens Attorneys, the sponsors, all the volunteers, in general, all those that in one way or another contributed to the success of this event.
Our biggest gesture of gratitude must go to; first to the delegations whose presence made all this possible, especially those that are in a similar financial predicament as us but nonetheless, against all odds made their way here and graced the venue with the highest standard of roller hockey, discipline and sportsmanship.
Secondly to our National Team and technical group, that came very close to achieving their objective, only to be outdone by a dubious goal and probably opponents more experienced, but proved nevertheless that our players can compete against their most direct opposition.
Fnally to all the supporters, whose numbers proved that this sport is very much alive and through this event, earned the right to be part of the bigger picture...The world roller hockey family in general and the south african sporting fraternity in particular.