The legacy impacts of the 2010 Fifa World Cup in Africa : case studies of stakeholder and soccer fans' perceptions in Cameroon and Nigeria.
The hosting of sport events, especially large-scale and mega-events, is deemed to be an important component of promoting development in relation to economic and social aspects in both developed and developing contexts. South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup was significant in that it was the first time that such an event had been hosted on the African continent. The subsequent positioning of the event as an ‘African World Cup’ which ensured the designing of African legacy objectives geared towards achieving a continental legacy, goes beyond the scope of leveraging potential benefits of any known mega-event previously hosted. This research critically examines key components of impacts beyond the host country, South Africa, with special reference to the African Legacy Programme linked to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in Cameroon and Nigeria by detailing perceptions from key stakeholder groups in comparative terms. The theoretical contribution relates directly to articulating and underscoring the need to examine stakeholder perceptions across a range of groups in order to unpack the extent to which differences can be attributed to socio-economic profiles, interest in the sport, geographical location, nationality, etc. Both qualitative and quantitative techniques were employed to collect data. In total, 758 soccer fan questionnaires were completed (390 in Cameroon and 381 in Nigeria) using the systematic stratified sampling method. The purposive sampling technique was employed in targeting 10 key informants from relevant government departments (sports, arts, culture and tourism), NGOs (linked to the FIFA Football for Hope foundation) and football officials (administrators, club presidents and owners) in Cameroon and Nigeria were targeted. A number of significant statistical differences and similarities in relation to perceptions were observed between fans and stakeholder groups in both case study areas. The study revealed a strong support for South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in both countries mainly because of Africanism. The levels of awareness of the African legacy intentions/ objectives and understanding of mega-event legacies were generally low. Fans in both countries were largely skeptical about the event having improved the socio-economic, environmental and political condition of Africa’s citizens although perceptions of legacies in relation to job creation, skills development, image enhancement, infrastructural development mainly linked to sport facilities, and improvement of football in Africa were largely positive. However, they also perceived that corruption and lack of financial support are the main challenges facing the sustainability of the African legacy projects. The key findings from the study are seen to have a wider applicability to mega-event legacy research and body of knowledge, especially in the context of Africa and the rest of the developing world. The results raise new critical questions related to mega-event legacies and inform the rethinking of theoretical constructs and contribute to the re-conceptualisation of legacy impacts in relation to mega-events.
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