PRETORIA: South Africa’s Cabinet has approved the final report about the country’s hosting of the 2010 World Cup, first finals tournament entrusted to an African nation by world football federation FIFA.

The report accounts for all the financial resources allocated to support the 17 government guarantees given to FIFA on issues such a infrastruture, transport, stadia and security.

Cabinet spokesperson Phumla Williams said: “This report will also serve as a reference guide and benchmark for planning other major sporting events.”

One of those is expected to be a bid – at least – to host the 2024 Olympic Games. The only practical city to be proposed by South Africa would be Durban because of its year-round climate which would enable it to host the Games in the usual July/August slot preferred by United States television.

South Africa beat off competition from Egypt and Morocco to win host rights for 2010 on which it subsequently spent more than $3bn. The 2010 FIFA World Cup Country Report acknowledges $1.1bn spent on building and upgrading stadia.

Transport was the biggest cost, with $1.3bn dedicated to improving road, rail and air links and a further $392m on the country’s main ports of entry.

The report fails to quantify an overall revenues total, preferring to dwell on “an intangible legacy of pride and unity among South Africans” which had changed the country’s image as undeveloped, crime-ridden and dangerous in the eyes of the rest of the world.

The long-term projection for value was computed at $6bn by risk analysis and finance company Grant Thornton.

FIFA has reported a $631 surplus  from the 2007-10 World Cup cycle from earned income of $3.65bn from 2010 World Cup contracts. It had spent $1.298bn on the World Cup in South Africa and also gave $100m to the World Cup Legacy Trust to support grassroots projects.

South Africa had been reported as benefiting to the tune of $400m from the 300,000-plus tourists who visited for the World Cup, a number significantly below initial projections of 500,000 foreign fans.


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