South Africa spent US$3b on World Cup, eyes Olympics

Friday, November 23, 2012

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JOHANNESBURG (AP) —South Africa, eyeing a bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics said the country spent more than US$3 billion on the 2010 World Cup, and in return gained "intangible legacy".

The country's government was on Friday giving its final report on the tournament, the first to be held in Africa.

In the "2010 FIFA World Cup Country Report," released nearly two-and-a half-years after the event, South Africa's government said it spent US$1.1 billion on building and upgrading stadiums alone.

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

In the absence of any final definitive figures on how much South Africa earned in total from being the host, the report said the World Cup had left an intangible legacy of pride and unity among South Africans and had changed the country's image as undeveloped, crime-ridden and dangerous in the eyes of the rest of the world.

"To top it all, we didn't have lions roaming the streets and we did have ATMs," the report, published by the ministry of sport, added light-heartedly.

It did predict a US$6 billion boost to South Africa's economy as a result of the month-long World Cup, according to a study by risk analysis and finance company Grant Thornton, but that was a mid to long-term projection.

FIFA reported it made a US$631 million profit from the 2007-10 World Cup cycle and earned income of US$3.65 billion from 2010 World Cup contracts. FIFA said it spent US$1.298 billion on the World Cup in South Africa and also gave US$100 million to the World Cup Legacy Trust, a fund that supports grassroots football projects.

South Africa has said it is considering a bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics.
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