The FIFA World Cup is one of the most anticipated, inspiring, and intense sporting events in the world. Soccer has integrated itself not only in sports circles, but also in politics, commerce, and society as a whole. The sport…
The FIFA World Cup is one of the most anticipated, inspiring, and intense sporting events in the world. Soccer has integrated itself not only in sports circles, but also in politics, commerce, and society as a whole. The sport has about two hundred million active players and is still growing, especially in areas such as North America and Asia. As of mid-2007, FIFA’s membership included 208-member associations, making it not only one of the largest and most powerful sports governing bodies, but also one of the most popular in the world.
Since 1930—with the exception of the break for World War II—every four years, the world’s best national teams face off in a soccer tournament. The last two tournaments hosted by South Africa in 2010 and Brazil in 2014 will be the emphasis of this paper. Each tournament featured the thirty-two countries and captured a television audience of over three billion people throughout the month-long tournament, one billion of which tuned in for the final. For comparison, the Super Bowl XLIX where the New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks 28 to 24 was the most watched event in United States’ history with a viewership of 114.4 million people.
Countries spend years planning and preparing to win a bid to host one of these mega events. Bids are often times awarded eight to twelve years in advance. There has been a recent trend of developing countries hosting the FIFA World Cups and the future bids already awarded follow that trend. Many people ask the question of whether all the money spent on infrastructure, construction, and tourism to host this tournament and gain international exposure are really worth it? Simply put, the 2010 FIFA World Cup was valuable to South Africa while the 2014 FIFA World Cup was not worth the costs to Brazil.