World Cup 2010: Dream or Disaster?

Development and Dreams: The Urban Legacy of the 2010 Football World Cup discusses the probable consequences of having the World Cup in South Africa this summer.  The authors of this book, Udesh Pillay, Richard Tomlinson, and Orli Bass, are a nice mix of a social development specialist, professor in urban planning, and professional in African race and identity.

This World Cup will be the first one ever to be hosted in Africa in a rather unstable region for an event of this magnitude.  Having the World Cup in South Africa is expected to have effects on “the economy of South Africa and its cities, on infrastructure development, and on the projection of African culture and indentity” (Development and Dreams).  The book is said to cover “debates over venue selection, investment in infrastructure, tourism, and fan-park sites” as well as covering “the less tangible hopes, dreams and aspirations associated with the World Cup” (Development and Dreams).  Development and Dreams begins with South Africa securing the World Cup hosting position for 2010 and goes on to cover the probable aftermath years later.

Recently, people have speculated over the preparedness of South Africa just three months before the event’s kick-off.  In fact, FIFA just recently admitted that the main venue, Soccer City, in Johannesburg is not yet completed and 700,000 tickets are still left unsold.  South African officials say it will be finished within a few weeks but with kick-off on June 11th and much work still left to be done, people are getting nervous.

Personally, I worry more about the safety of those attending and participating in the World Cup after the attack on the Togo team bus before the African Cup of Nations.  South African officials, however, assure the public that everyone will be safe and secure.

Regardless, the K’naan World Cup theme song is awesome and everyone should download it!


9 Responses

  1. Can you hyperlink the title please!!!!!!! TY!

  2. I have read about some of problems South Africa has had in preparing for the World Cup this summer. You mention the fact that the main stadium still isn’t complete which is shocking. I think that probably all goes back to a strike that took place last summer where stadium workers refused to show up to their jobs because they weren’t getting paid enough money. I have also heard that South Africa is having trouble building and upgrading their transportation systems for the event.

  3. I want to read this book! Going to the World Cup in South Africa would be the coolest experience and I personally hope that the country is able to do a phenomenal job hosting the event. I have never been to South Africa, but believe that the opportunity it provides to spur the region’s economy and be associated with all of the publicity and hype regarding the competition is great. The World Cup gives South Africa something to look forward and take pride in.

    While many criticize the choice of location, perhaps it is not South Africa itself, but rather the current state of the economy, that is contributing to many tickets still being unsold. In fact “Fifa has cited the global recession as the main factor deterring fans from travelling to South Africa rather than concerns about crime” (SkyNews article linked to in post). I know that South Africa is one of the places that I would most want to attend the World Cup in and although that may not be true for everyone, I am not sure that all the blame directed at South Africa is warranted. For example, the stadium that remains uncompleted is on target to be done in a matter of weeks – well before the start of the summer.

    I find it interesting that a book has been published on this topic. News articles, documentaries, and blogs all make sense to me, but I wonder what readership will be like once the event is over. Perhaps individuals will go back and compare the actual consequences to anticipated ones? Hopefully it will have been a success!

  4. I was in South Africa at this time last year and I cannot even begin to tell you about how genuinely excited the South African people are for the World Cup. Obviously, safety should be a concern for everyone, but by no means should safety issues be a reason for people to NOT go. Visitors just need to be on their guard and very cautious and aware of their surroundings. It makes me sad when people don’t travel to places like South Africa and India because they are scared for their own safety. Some of the most dangerous cities in the world are located in America…but we aren’t “too scared” to visit those places. I think that everyone who has the time and money to visit South Africa should go. It is an amazing place and your money can really help to stimulate their economy. These are the friendliest people you will ever meet and they are so excited to meet more American tourists during the world cup!

  5. A “professional” in African Race and identity? Is that right?

    Great song. Did you know the Soweto (S Africa) Gospel Choir was here a few weeks ago singing? Beautiful music!

    What would be the dream for S. Africa? Do you think the book is using dream like an unrealistic figment of imagination or like a vision of what could be?

    Why is South Africa lagging in preparations?

  6. I tried to find why South Africa is unprepared for the World Cup but I am struggling to find the exact details on where they exactly fell behind. My guess would be that they have simply just slipped in the execution stages, as many projects of this size often do.
    I was, however, looking further into the ticket prices for the World Cup and saw that South Africa has discounted tickets for South Africans to attend the event. The organizers hope to have category-four tickets (the ones specifically discounted for South Africans) comprise 20% of attendance at each game. Currently, each game averages around 11% ticket sales of category-four. FIFA executives are trying to make tickets affordable for the host country in such a difficult time for the world.

  7. Last February, tickets were being sold in South Africa for the World Cup for $14 dollars. I definitely regret not buying any!

    • They have gone up to about $18 in South Africa—which is still a steal!

  8. […] Up Best of Book Week (Feb 21-March 1)World Cup 2010: Dream or Disaster?Let's Invent a New Word or Phrase: What do you call someone who "opts out of participating in […]

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