World Cup Photo Fail: Chicago TV Station Confuses South Africa with South America

It’s sad to say, but this is the type of media coverage that gives the U.S. a bad name . Not only did they confuse South Africa with South America, which makes Chicago station WGN look stupid, but it looks like they may have already begun with the soccer bashing by reporting on a controversy from the World Cup. What the controversy was, who knows. But it’d be nice for a news station to report on a feel good World Cup story for once.

Source: Deadspin

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About Christopher Harris

Publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris founded the site in 2005. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who was born and raised in Wales, has lived in Florida since 1984, and supported Swansea City since 1979. Last but not least, he got engaged during half-time of a MLS game.
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29 Responses to World Cup Photo Fail: Chicago TV Station Confuses South Africa with South America

  1. CTBlues says:

    It was probably the whole thing about “not being able to provide Obama enough security” and how they kinda hope the US don’t make the second round so they don’t have to worry about him coming.

  2. cliff says:

    I think it really shows the self centered ignorance that exists here in America. I’m actually embarassed that people here are that cluless that they can’t tell the difference between South America and South Africa.

  3. Ian says:

    That’s really sad…talk about reinforcing stereotypes…

  4. DCUDiplomat96 says:

    This story who cares wow a tv station makes a simple mistake big deal… on to the next

    • Stuart Gill says:

      Confusing continents is not a simple mistake. It is a big mistake.

    • John says:

      lol “a simple mistake”? I think I just found one more ignorant, probably that didn’t know where was South Africa too…

    • nata says:

      A simple mistake like the misspelling of a name can cause serious damage in the world of communications. Not only does a ” simple mistake” ruins a company’s reputation, but it can lead to a law suit.

  5. Chris says:


  6. Kasey in Oz says:

    Which comedian was it that said “War is God’s way of teaching Americans geography”? whilst pretty funny, I would hope that in the world we hope to inhabit in the future, the word “Soccer” could be subbed in for War, the world game is just that of course:)
    Still you’re not the only country with soccer-hating going on in the mainstream media. There are hoardes and hoardes of journalists here with vested interests in their ‘traditional’ sports of Cricket, Rugby League, Rugby Union and Australian Rules Football, just praying and hoping that the Socceroos fail spectacularly in Sth Africa so they can go back to making snide remarks about “sissy sports and foreigners diving to win penalties” etc..SoccerFootball is the only sport in the world that connects us all on some level; yet We(that is the royal we:) ) smugly continue our obsession with dominating niche sports that either no-one or very few other countries play. its all quite sad for a football zealot like myself.
    PS: I’d be curious to know what çontroversy’was cooked up by the TV station, seeing as I’m off to Jo’burg on the 10th of June:) probably some beat up about the police chief’s comments re Obama as mentioned above…or a re-hash of the crime stats in Sth Africa:)

  7. Luq in Cape Town says:

    So funny! Shame, this is what happens when you are overeager. As for Obama’s safety, the stress is a given as our security services will also have 30+ Heads of State, 32 teams and the Fifa family to worry about. That being said, no visitor has anything to worry about unless they go looking for trouble.

  8. Alan Thomas (Cape Town) says:

    Bloody funny! You are all welcome to our home, we hope you enjoy your stay and spread the word as to how great our country is. When you do find us, drop me an e-mail and I will show you around the Mother City. See you all soon. Al

  9. anon says:

    Dear America,
    Are you really THAT stupid?

  10. Jess says:

    It’s like my friend being asked if giraffe necks get caught in our telephone wires or whether Africa is a country in South America. So the news channel is not the only one to make a mistake. If you have never been taught it, how would you know.
    I promise though once you have been to South Africa, you will never forget it… EVER! Can’t wait for everyone to come over and the party to begin! Hopefully you will make it to the one city where the water’s warm and it’s summer all year long… DURBAN.

  11. Tracy says:

    Are we really do our best to improve the quality of education in the US? The world cup is not the main ‘real football’ (in the US) generating a large amount of advertising/product revenue in the US.
    The confusion of countries/geography by public media is not acceptable!

  12. Jordan Pickering says:

    That’s very funny. Thanks, Chicago! Chicago’s in Canada, America’s capital province, isn’t it?

    [Jess, I think the big issue is that at least one person in an entire TV station should probably have a basic grasp of the names and shapes of the continents, even without attending a course on the subject. My daughter could say, ‘South Africa is on the continent of Africa’ when she was two.]

    By the way, World, South Africa is not that dangerous. Most of us are still alive over here after all, and heads of state manage to wander around without dying also. The Cup is going to be awesome. I think Obama’s a bit of a folk hero here anyway.

  13. ET says:

    1/3 of all tickets sold to the world cup bought in the USA

  14. at least the fans got on the right plane.

    whaa haa couldnt stop laughing. PS: im glad Obama is not coming he would just make it a security nightmare – for what? PS: its perfectly safe here unless you are a careless idiot…oops that map…

  15. fhmail321 says:

    Many Americans are woefully ignorant of world geography. I have lived here for many years to know that this is so. There are those who believe that Africa is a country, and they do not seem to grasp the fact that it is a continent with many different countries.
    In South Africa, when I was in school there, we learned the geography of the world and even the history of the USA thoroughly. The apparent provincialism of so many Americans, even educated Americans, is such that they seem locked into their own self importance, but this cannot be said for all. There are many knowledgeable Americans who travel and who also go out of their way to show kindness and concern for the wellbeing of people beyond their borders.
    It does make one wonder though — did they mistake the Nevada Desert for the moon in 1969?

  16. lux says:

    It’s not an America thing, it’s typical WGN incompetence. Their morning show is particularly ridiculous.

  17. Mummy - England says:

    This doesn’t surprise me at all … once again this reinforces how self-centered most Americans are. This is not a stereotype for Americans, it’s a reality. BIG TIME!

  18. Mary-Anne says:

    There are three things you can bank on in this life: death, taxes and the stupidity of Americans.

  19. David says:

    Disappointing, but hardly surprising.

  20. M says:

    and south africa is just the south of africa, it is not the whole continent….

  21. Roger says:

    Maybe it is not a coincidence that MLS and its set of ruless reflects that same self-centered mentality!

  22. Medzani (Johannesburg) says:

    How on earth did this happen? at a news network of all places?!! I don’t understand! I’d expect this from Australians, not Americans!

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