The kick-off of the World Cup is just around the corner, but the craze about one of the biggest event on earth have been filling up all sorts of medias, including news, magazines, e-media advertisements (with one advert showing Lampard and Messi knocking a door of Malaysian family, inviting them to watch World Cup matches), and billboards. Merchandise? I think every single promotions and campaigns on the street trying to relate to World Cup. Be it caps, jerseys, replicas, just name it.. it’s all about World Cup in South Africa. Active economy activities are being carried out generating revenues without subsidies (I think.. or is it also subsidies?)
Then, I stumbled upon an article written in ACCA Student Magazine (June 2010 edition) about World Cup in South Africa. Reading the article made me thinking for quite some time. It is not that I do not know the impact of a big event to a hosting country, but it is just amazing if the event can be carried out successfully.
Some snippets of what I read from the article to be shared with you:
‘In every South African’s mind there was the question of whether we would be able to pull it off or not,’ remembers Kevin Wakeford, former chairman of the South African Chamber of Commerce, and a leading national commentator on political and economic affairs. ‘But once the bid was awarded, there was no turning back. Two things counted in our favour: South Africans are soccer crazy, and we like being the underdog and proving skeptics wrong.’
‘Yes, South Africa does have the biggest economy in Africa with the most sophisticated infrastructure, broadcast, telecommunications and banking sector, but it also still remains a developing country, with a very large portion of its people living in poverty,’ Wakeford adds. And it isn’t just domestic challenges South Africans have had to face. In the five years since winning the bid, the country has had to weather a relentless barrage of cynical international media coverage, culminating in calls for FIFA to identify a ‘Plan B country’ should South Africa not be ready. But, while the local organising committee was battling pessimists at press conferences, South Africa was quietly getting on with the single biggest infrastructural overhaul in its history.
South Africa has spent in the region of R5bn ($690m/£448m) on building and renovating 10 World Cup stadiums, R5.2bn on upgrading its airports and R3.5bn on the country’s road and rail network. Grant Thornton has projected that the World Cup will inject around R21.3bn into South Africa’s economy, generating an estimated R12.7bn in direct spending and creating an estimated 159,000 new jobs, mainly in construction, but also in tourism and the service industries.
But the benefit of an improved international image is where the real economic benefit lies, argues senior ACCA member Chama Kamukwamba, CEO of MSI Management Consultants. ‘The World Cup is potentially the biggest marketing event ever for South Africa Inc. A 19,000-strong international media contingent will descend on South Africa and the global television audience is estimated at around 45 billion viewers.
Barring an unforeseen disaster, such as a terrorist attack, the reputational gains from hosting a successful World Cup will spill over into improved investor confidence and will also have a positive impact on tourism.’
The event will make South Africa a better, more widely known and understood destination, with an enhanced reputation for service and a quality travel experience, but it also predicts a tourism upswing after the World Cup. It bases this on the experiences of other countries that have hosted major events. They anticipate between 130,000 and 290,000 extra foreign arrivals a year from 2011 to 2015 as a result of the World Cup.
The fact, however, is that the overall crime rate has decreased over the past four years by more than 24%,’ he says. ‘And despite concerns around violent crime, there can be no doubt that the state has the will and the capacity to provide high‑quality security for the World Cup. The security plan is comprehensive and adequately resourced, and with the experience accumulated and lessons learnt over the last number of years, in particular with the big sporting events hosted in 2009, the security services should have a well honed plan in place.’
I supposed that the readers can guess why I shared those snippets. Yes, what IF the World Cup Finals be hosted by Malaysia. How will it be?
I supposed that with series of success being host to various type of occasions and events, those with economical mind and thoughts can picture what may cost and benefit the nation in a short run and also in a long run. Merchandising, be it original or copycats, still generating revenues. Advertisements will be one of the main source of income. Fees and fares too. You do the math, accountants count the money. Hahaha.
I do think that we have some capabilities and abilities to host the World Cup in terms infrastructures and facilites. Our KLIA will be the starting point if the teams participating opted other airlines other than Malaysia Airlines or Air Asia. As for accomodation wise, I think our hotels can cater the delegates and visitors.
However, the possible set backs would be our stadium, the football field in each venue, training grounds, transportation (however, hope this will not be a problem when SPAD comes in). But hey, these can be improved, considering that we have improved some facilities every time we hold events.. right?
So far, thank God that we do not come across any threats of security. The biggest perhaps during Commonwealth Games back in 1998 (I wonder who caused the threat..hmmm…).
Those are the things that I can think of while I’m writing this article. What do I forget???
Our football team perhaps???
Yes. There’s no point if we are the host, but being beaten and thrashed at mercy. I supposed that the memory of well beaten 5-0 by UAE in the Asian Cup back in 2009 is an example how we do not want that to happen ever again at our own soil. I know, ever since, the boys have improved in South East Asia region by winning gold medal in the SEA Games… but how much does our quality improved? How well we are against the big boys of Asian? Korea? Japan? Saudi Arabia? Iran? China?
I’m not expecting the boys can beat Brazil, Argentina, England or Spain in a few days’ time (but if they can, why not?), but we have heard various announcements how we are preparing for World Cup (but still not even there in the finals of Asian qualifying round).
I do hope and pray that day will come. The day that we can be the World Cup host with a team that capable of remarkeable performance (perhaps something like or better but not worse than games against Manchester United during last pre-season warm up games).
Or am I just day dreaming? Hoping for the impossible?
What say you?
From the streets to the pitch: Let the fiesta begins (and may we improve to be as one of the teams we watch and support). Bola, bola, bola, bola! Ole!!!
And oh yeah, Real Madrid will coming to town.. how the boys going to be against Mourinho’s boys?