As the world continues waiting to see whether major sports events canceled in 2020 will resume, Thursday marks a decade since Cape Town hosted the World Cup. The event was highly charged with symbolism, though it’s been dogged by the question of whether it was wise to spend billions of dollars on a sports event.
The news of South Africa hosting the 19th World Cup tournament was received with a lot of excitement in the country and Africa at large. With Cape Town being the hosting City, a lot of cash was spent on building infrastructures like Stadiums, Airports, and high-class security. This investment created short term jobs for the locals, with a total of $3 billion spent on the month-long tournament.
A decade later, the world cup organizers still feel that the investment was worth every dime. Indeed, the event left a great legacy to be remembered for decades in South Africa, attracting thousands of visitors from the continent and beyond. It also helped to expose the country on a global scale, though several financial experts still wonder whether the money would have been better off elsewhere.
Since this world cup event, the country has been struggling with issues like housing, water, electricity, and healthcare. That’s mainly because South Africa had to push themselves beyond their limits, considering that many people believed that an African country couldn’t handle the task. As such, the country had to use money meant for other projects like infrastructure to see the event through.
The force behind the successful bid for South Africa to hold the event was Danny Jordaan. According to Danny, the event had a positive legacy in the country, and the money was necessary for delivering essential services. Statistics also show that the tourism industry has grown tremendously since this event, contributing to a 10% GDP growth.
According to Danny, local leagues have also improved thanks to the state-of-the-art stadiums and new condition of the pitch. The turnover in the South African local leagues is us$ 277 million television contracts in five years. Due to the investments made during the world cup, the premier soccer league is taking the right steps to become the best in Africa, that’s according to Benni McCarthy, one of the best South African players.
According to Reuters, Jordaan said that the tourism sector in the country has greatly improved due to improved roads and stadiums built for the tournament. The negative perception was changed, and the tourism sector has been changed ever since the event.
When it comes to the national team, it has not performed well in the world stage. In the last Russia world cup, no country has gone beyond the group stages. South Africa did not even qualify in the last world cup, which causes a lot of worries. In the Fifa rankings, South Africa did not even make it to the top 50. In the football sector, it causes a lot of worries depending on the money spent on the event.