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Benefits of Hosting World Cup Soccer
The FIFA World Cup is an amazing international event that takes place every four years. Fans from all over the world come to the host country bringing with them an outpouring of colour, passion, energy and culture. The world game is a great credit to the host country and the event promises a lot for global broadcasting, tourism, and an injection of millions of dollars into the economy.
FIFA, the international governing body for football (soccer) requires the host nation to comply with detailed regulations and specifications including security, transport, accommodation, training facilities, opening ceremonies and closing, marketing, promotions, tickets, insurance, and other administrative matters.
Are there financial risks worth hosting such an event? Infrastructure issues (such as airports, roads, stadiums, and public transport) for hosting such an event are usually among the major complications. When Athens hosted the Olympics in 2004, its budget went from US$1.6 billion to US$16 billion: Beijing in 2008 went from US$1.6 billion to about US$40 billion. London’s price tag for the 2012 games has blown out from US$5 billion to around US$20 billion. So far, it is estimated that South Africa has spent US$5 billion and FIFA US$1.1 billion on preparations before the start of the 2010 World Cup.
Millions of tourist dollars may be injected into small businesses, hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops, tours, and transportation from hosting a FIFA tournament. However, the costs associated with a significant influx of visitors are providing security for fans and all teams, anti-terrorist activities, racial sensitivity policing, and the purchase and installation of high-tech monitoring equipment.
If the revenue from ticket sales to the games was not met, it would fuel the country hosting the games as it could take years to recoup the expenditure for hosting a global event of’ such. History will determine the success of hosting a FIFA tournament. The global exposure of this world event could benefit the host country and its local suppliers/industries in the years to come.
A study by an economist from the United States on the historical experience of the host nations since 1954 revealed that in 7 of the 13 tournaments since 1954, economic growth has been slower in the year of the World Cup than in the two years leading up to the event. On the other hand, 9 of the 13 countries that have hosted the event since 1954 have shown faster economic growth in the 2 years following the event.
What the FIFA World Cup does is that it brings the world together through competition fostering cross-cultural interaction and international understanding. In a world plagued by wars, racism and religious intolerance, the FIFA World Cup contributes to a universal brotherhood, whose benefits to humanity are impossible to measure.
Around 6 billion people watch the Olympics but this pales in comparison to the estimated 26 billion who will watch the FIFA World Cup.
South Africa is hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup between June and July. The next FIFA World Cup will be held from June to July 2014 in Brazil, a nation that was crowned world champions in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, and 2002.
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