It has been 10 years since South Africa hosted the FIFA World Cup and eyes from around the globe were on the African nation. July 11 marked the 10-year anniversary of the final held in Johannesburg’s Soccer City. The final, played between Spain and the Netherlands, saw the Spanish lift the trophy thanks to an extra-time goal by Andres Iniesta. It gave Spain’s national team their first ever World Cup trophy, something they have yet to replicate. International football will return with its next big event, the Euro 2020 tournament as the playoffs kick off soon. Football fans can follow Spain and the rest of Europe’s top teams and get the latest football site news before the games get underway.
In the immediate wake of the World Cup in 2010, FIFA praised the legacy that was left behind while others contradicted the governing body’s assessment of just how rosy things were after the tournament.
A legacy of success or failure?
Critics of the World Cup will look at the white elephant stadiums that were built or renovated for the tournament. Just like in Brazil four years later, stadiums were built with much of the population arguing that the money spent could be used for the greater good of society. Unlike the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the host nation populations of South Africa and Brazil were not 100 percent onboard with the football tournament. Football fans are anticipating the return of the Champions League in August and debating which team will lift the trophy. Fans can use the latest OBC UK offers to get a bet bonus ahead of the next round of games to wager on the team they predict will win the tournament.
Ten stadiums were used around the country with Soccer City being the crown jewel of them all. The venue is still a popular destination for both sports and entertainment. Now known as FNB Stadium due to sponsorship reasons, the venue hosts soccer and rugby matches along with major concerts that come through Johannesburg. The likes of Coldplay, Justin Bieber, and Rihanna have played at Soccer City.
It wasn’t long after the tournament that reports emerged about the other nine stadiums all being in the financial red. Cash-strapped municipalities around South Africa were in charge of keeping the venues up to date. What was to be a coming-out party for South Africa, has been labelled as a black mark by some. A lack of home supporters for matches played by local teams has prevented the venues from being sustainable. Cape Town Stadium was built for $536 million but was reportedly losing around $6m annually. That loss in money came in spite of hosting the occasional event such as a concert.
Boom and bust
The legacy of the World Cup 2010 has two sides to it. On the one side, there is the short-term economic boom South Africa enjoyed during and straight after the tournament. That boom has turned into stadiums without many events resulting in financial losses. There is also a sporting legacy, one that will be remembered by countries that participated, including South Africa, for the excitement that unfolded.
In spite of the critics, FIFA has claimed ZAR 82 million was distributed to a “variety of projects in the areas of football development, education, capacity-building and health” around South Africa. FIFA reported that four years after the World Cup 2010, the Legacy Trust had generated ZAR 72 million in interest. The trust’s aim was to become a self-sustaining source of funding that would be benefiting South Africans on a continual basis.
Ten years of hindsight has taken the shine off of the World Cup 2010. It was the dream of Sepp Blatter to take the tournament to Africa. He did it, but the price paid by South Africa was high and it continues to grow.