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Out of Africa

October 30th, 2007 by mortenp · No Comments

For the first time ever, a so-called mega sport event will take place on African soil. South Africa is the host for the soccer World Cup in 2010.
Even though South Africa is known for hosting bigger sports events, such as the African Cup, World Cup in rugby and cricket, the World Cup in soccer 2010 will by far be the biggest sports event ever hosted, not only by South Africa, but also on the African Continent.
Therefore, it was not only South Africans who were excited and glad when the decision was made to place the World Cup on the continent.Charles Nyende, Kenyan journalist

“Overall there is a sort of solidarity between Africans, which is difficult to describe further. But when South Africa was elected as the host nation it created a hype among all Africans,” the Kenyan journalist, Charles Nyende explains. He is a journalist covering sports for the Kenyan newspaper, the Nation.
That also means that high expectations is following the host country from the rest of Africa and especially its neighboring countries - despite the sentimental value among Africans.
Indeed spillover affects is expected to come to the countries on the southern part of the continent - one way or another.
Already now the implementation of the mega event has created a bottleneck according to expertise in South Africa. Therefore the South African ambassador to Kenya suggested that the surrounding countries could contribute to the workforce e.g. with engineers and economists. They will then gain expertise gathered in South Africa which they will bring back to their own countries.

Also suggestions such as creating a world cup visa where tourists going to South Africa can join a safari in e.g. Kenya or Tanzania before hitting further for South Africa.
This could also become a negative impact for the neighbors.
“There will also be a risk that tourists will be more attracted to South Africa than to other countries in the summer of 2010, and they they will loose for it,” Charles Nyende analyses.
For South Africa itself it is expected that the impact on the economy will be huge even though high demands to infrastructure, construction of Stadiums – and forced evictions among others.

The World (Cup) is not Enough
Not only the expectations but also the questions are rising whether South Africa is capable and has the ability to host an event of this magnitude.
Their ability was recently questioned by Sepp Blatter, the President of the International Football association, FIFA, when he mentioned that the association had a plan B involving countries such as Mexico, Spain and England if something went wrong. Afterwards he emphasized and reassured that the World Cup will take place in South Africa.
If South Africa will succeed Charles Nyende believes the door will open up for many other events. Perhaps not of this magnitude.
“Hopefully it will show the rest of the world that Africa is able to cope with an event of this scale, and thereby change the legacy of Africa known so far,” the journalist from Kenya ends.

Tags: Theme: Mega-events

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