Blatter toasts 'special' World Cup
FIFA president Sepp Blatter insists Africa's World Cup has been a success, despite criticism over empty seats and controversial refereeing decisions.
Blatter pointed to the rapturous welcome the tournament has received in South Africa and booming television audiences as proof the World Cup had been "special".
"Every World Cup has its own history and its own culture," told the BBC. "It was a World Cup in a new continent with new culture and therefore it must be analysed on different levels. If you look at the enthusiasm in South Africa and the TV audiences around the world then it was a special World Cup."
Blatter also said he had been moved by the reception the 32 teams had been afforded, and defended the fact that many games had been played in front of stadiums that were far from full.
"It was a very attractive World Cup and for me it was also a very emotional World Cup," he added. "I just came back from humanitarian activity, visiting Winnie Mandela in Soweto and she said this World Cup made us proud.
"We have had empty seats yes, but not empty stadia. Don't forget, 95% of all tickets have been sold.
"There were two cities where we had in two matches not the expected attendances but otherwise if you have seen in some stadia empty seats it came from hospitality. There has not been the same enthusiasm for hospitality seats as we have seen in other World Cups."
Blatter was also confident there had been no irregular activity surrounding any of the games. He said: "There was not one single alarm on match fixing. Not one single alarm in the early warning system also controlled through Interpol."
FIFA's president also offered a reason for the poor showing from African teams at the World Cup, after Ghana were the only team to make it out of the group stage, finally falling in the quarter-final to Uruguay.
"Nigeria was near to going through and with a little bit of luck we would have had Ghana in the semi-finals," added Blatter, referring to Asamoah Gyan's extra-time penalty miss.
"You cannot direct or manage a national team when you change the coach who is technically responsible two or three months before the competition. This has happened in two or three of the associations - Ivory Coast, South Africa and Nigeria - and therefore it would be a miracle if they go through.''
Blatter also offered a few words on the World Cup accessory that has delighted and infuriated people in equal measure.
"We have survived finally the vuvuzelas, everybody has," Blatter said. "It is not only the South African way, all the visitors have started to buy the vuvuzelas and on Sunday in the final there will not be even 50% South African people in the stadium but everybody will have these vuvuzelas."