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The political economy of planning and legacies of the FIFA 2010 World Cup

ISGI Seminar No. 43
Speaker(s) Scarlett Cornelissen
When Nov 05, 2008 04:30 PM to
Nov 05, 2009 06:00 PM
Where Multimedia Lecture Room, Room 3405, 4th floor, Mercury Tower, Hitotsubashi University, Kunitachi Campus (East), Tokyo
Language English
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by admin last modified Mar 01, 2009 11:06 PM

As the earlier euphoria of South Africa being awarded the rights to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup® yields to an extended process of planning, infrastructure development and venue preparation, much of the discourse in South Africa focuses on the intended (and unforeseen) legacies the event would bring. Pressured by the anticipations of a highly expectant population, a challenging set of socio-economic conditions, and a broader collection of national and political aspirations, planners have a clear sense of the great importance of appropriate (and politically palatable) target planning. Many of the internal processes of preparations however will out of necessity be structured within the wider set of conditions laid by the preferences and goals of major actors outside of South Africa, such as FIFA itself, and sport and media corporations involved in the international promotion of the tournament. This paper examines the main features of preparations toward the 2010 finals, shaped by the primary policy and planning objectives set by authorities in South Africa, and the involvement of large commercial actors that hold proprietorship over many aspects of the tournament. The wider political economy of global sport will exercise a modulating and potentially a restraining influence on objectives set by South Africa's authorities. The first part of the paper provides an overview of the sociocultural and political dimensions of sport in South Africa, focusing in particular on how a history of racial divisioning continues to affect sport participation and organisation in the post-apartheid era. Against this background the second and third parts focus on the nature of South Africa's orientation toward the emerging international political economy of sport mega-events, and conjectures on some of the more likely long-term outcomes of the 2010 World Cup.


Scarlett Cornelissen is a Senior Lecturer at Stellenbosch University and currently a Visiting Associate Professor at Ritsumeikan University.

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