Sporting Event
The final game of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar took place on December 18, 2022, but it is still a trending topic. A nation that hosts a major sporting event not only gets to host the tournament but also can garner economic benefits. In general, such a great event requires long-term investments, which can contribute to reducing poverty in the host country. This article will explain how hosting a sporting event can help reduce poverty.

The FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa is a great example of how hosting a sporting event can help reduce poverty. The South African Government released the “2010 FIFA World Cup Country Report” to highlight ways that hosting the FIFA World Cup helped it reduce poverty. Here are the three ways that hosting a major sporting event downsized poverty in South Africa.

How Hosting a Sporting Event Can Help Reduce Poverty

  1. Long-term investments: International sports institutions announce the host country many years in advance as there is a need for long-term investment in many sectors, from construction to hospitality. According to the country report, South Africa spent more than $3 billion on building and renovating stadiums, restoring and developing transportation links and developing new technologies. This was the least amount spent on hosting a FIFA World Cup in the last two decades. Hosting the FIFA World Cup 2010 resulted in economic growth in South Africa in the following years. According to the Statistics Department of South Africa, the country recorded a 4.8% growth in GDP in the second quarter of 2011 compared to a 3.1% growth in GDP in the same period of 2010, which was a result of new investments in the country.
  2. Job creation: In conformity with the observations of the economist Dr. A Saville, investing in infrastructure to prepare for the tournament created 66,000 new jobs paying $1,126 a month each. Additionally, job creation contributed more than $225 million to low-income households. In addition to the construction sector, tourism was also one of the key sectors that benefited from the event significantly. In 2009, around 9.5 million tourists visited South Africa, whereas, in 2010, South Africa hosted the FIFA World Cup; this number exceeded 11 million. Since then, the country has received more and more tourists, except for during the COVID-19 pandemic era. More than 15 million visitors arrived in South Africa in 2016, which is the highest record of arrivals in the country’s tourism sector so far.
  3. Raising the country’s prestige: Hosting the FIFA World Cup encouraged the South African government to reduce crime. As a result, the government spent more than $140 million to secure safety and security in the country. Therefore, the country became attractive both for foreign investors and tourists.

Looking Forward

Hosting FIFA World Cup 2010 was a milestone in South Africa’s recent history. Thanks to direct and indirect investments in South Africa within the tournament framework, the country created new jobs in various sectors, contributing to reducing poverty in the country. South Africa is one example of how hosting a sports organization can help reduce poverty.

Seeing the rise of African teams in the latest tournament, FIFA and other international sports associations should consider giving developing countries a chance to host a worldwide tournament.

– Murathan Arslancan
Photo: Flickr