2010 World Cup: The high cost of hype

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WAS it all worth it? Six years after SA hosted the 2010 soccer World Cup, this remains a difficult question to answer.

It was, on the face of it, a no-brainer. SA got to be the centre of global attention, putting on a major event that ran efficiently, one that was characterised by wonderful hospitality and that enhanced our reputation as a tourist destination.

It was also an exercise in nation-building, as South Africans pulled together to “prove the Afro-pessimists wrong” by staging a world-class event.

But in order for all of this to occur, a number of heady sacrifices had to be made, some financial, some ethical and some just plain illegal.

Read more of my article in the Financial Mail

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