There is no doubt that off-field transfer rumours are stealing the lime light from the biggest sporting event in the world-the FIFA World Cup.With less than impressive crowd attendances, huge injury lists, below freezing temperatures and few cases of teams experiencing robberies, this year’s edition might be remembered for all the the things that did go wrong.
I guess the slogan the experience of a lifetime is highly relevant. However, with all these down points, host nation South Africa deserve credit for putting up world class stadiums, hotels, railway systems and generally creating the world cup spirit with colourful song, dance and of course the iconic vuvuzela.
The big debate raging on in the continent now however is whether hosting such a tournament will leave a lasting legacy in a country that is still very much divided racially and economically.
Two years ago, the debate was whether South Africa could pull off hosting such a huge tournament. Skeptics and cynics gave the country little hope of managing the logistics that come along with the World Cup let alone investing billions of rand in stadia and hotels ( no need to argue that point because results are plain to see).
Now the debate has taken a new twist and ‘experts’ are doubting if there will be any benefits in the long run for South Africa. As sad as it is, their is still very much skepticism surrounding Africa with many still seeing the continent as place packed full of problems. That might be true, but then again show me a continent or country that does not have its fair share of problems? Exactly.
In my opinion, hosting the World Cup in Africa is a legacy on its own. It will take years and years Re-couping the $ 6 billion spent hosting the event however, an immediate effect that cannot be denied is the sense of unity that the tournament has brought.
Frankly, i have never supported South Africa but i couldn’t help but root for them when they took on Mexico last Friday and Uruguay yesterday. This is the same feeling evident across the whole face of the continent. So for the next 24 days, my humble plea to every fan is, lets enjoy the sport for what it is ‘the beautiful game’.