Saturday, June 5, 2010

Money Politics Of The 2010 World Cup - Who Really Wins

News at Soccernet reveals that FIFA has considered the first World Cup held in Africa a success. Secretary general of football's world governing body, Jerome Valcke, has said that holding the tournament in Africa has helped FIFA increased its income since 2006, when the tournament was held in Germany.

Valcke said last week,
"Commercially it has been a success," 
"In fact, we have increased our income by 50% since 2006 in Germany to 2010 in South Africa."
But what about income for South Africa?

According to consulting firm Grant Thornton, the World Cup will pump around USD2.8billion into South Africa’s economy, generating an estimated USD1.7billion in direct spending and creating an estimated 159,000 new jobs. The country’s tourism industry will benefit from the estimated three million visitors expected for the tournament, while construction and engineering companies will look to a slice of the billions to be spent on infrastructure in the lead-up to the event. Another good thing about this sporting event is that small business and ordinary people will benefit.

Having said that, South Africa is no stranger to world sporting events. They have held successfully sporting events before i.e.
  • 1995 Rugby World Cup,
  • 1996 African Cup of Nations
  • 2003 Cricket World Cup,
  • Women’s World Cup of Golf in 2005 and 2006
  • The only street race in the opening A1 GP World Cup of Motorsport in January 2006
It is the ideal place for such a global football sporting event. Gillian Saunders, who led the study, told journalists and economists on Wednesday that fewer foreign fans were expected to come than previously thought, but those that did would spend more compared with other tournaments like Germany in 2006. The study showed 373,000 foreigners will be expected to visit South Africa for the tournament, about 230,000 of them ticket holders. This is higher than the most recent estimate by the local organizers of 200,000 foreign fans, but down on earlier predictions of 450,000 overseas visitors.

And yet the event’s main direct benefits, from television and marketing rights, all go to FIFA. So who really wins? FIFA or South Africa?

I have been invited to preview an investigative documentary on the politics and economics of the World Cup coming to South Africa. This is a trailer preview of the documentary "Who Really Wins",

It does look rather thought-provoking but I will reserve my opinions until after I have seen the complimentary DVD. I am excited to have been asked to preview it. You can be sure that I will post my review and thoughts once I have received and seen the documentary. Stay tuned!

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