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World Cup


The inquest begins

It was England's worst ever defeat in the finals of the World Cup.  Now an inquest begins that will rumble on for weeks and indeed months.   If England's overall performance had not been so inept and the German win so well deserved the focus might have been on the wrongly disallowed goal.  There will still be discussion of the need for goallline technology, but Sepp Blatter has said no and Fifa is his personal fiefdom.

Which wins would help the South African economy?

South Africa will get a bigger tourism boost from the knock out phase of the World Cup if the best-supported teams win.   That was a difficult choice in yesterday's two matches.   Uruguay ranks 132nd in the world in terms of population (3.5m), although the small population of Uruguay is probably offset by the dedication to football in a country that  won the inagural competition and were surprise victors over Brazil in 1950.    South Korea was a better bet in terms of population (48.6 million, 26th in the world), but the proportion of the po

2014 World Cup hits problems

Preparations for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil have run into difficulty.  Half of the stadiums that are being built or re-modelled are behind schedule.   That is nothing new as far as major sporting events are concerned - Fifa had to inject some extra money into the preparations in South Africa.  However, what is perhaps more worrying is that insufficient progress is being made in upgrading the country's infrastructure, particularly in relation to airlines and airport terminals.   Standards in these area

New dawn for soccer in US?

The USA team have come top of their group in the World Cup, ahead of England.  Does this represent a new dawn for soccer in the US?  Will Chang, the owner of MLS team DC United thinks so: 'I'm 54 and in my lifetime I think this game of football is going to be the biggest sport in the US.'  Well, maybe.

Sponsors get angry with French world cup team

There may be tensions and open dissent within the England camp at the World Cup, but the French team has imploded in a way that has triggered a wave of public criticism in France.  It is felt that the country's reputation has been besmirched and President Nicolas Sarkozy has demanded that representatives of the players and the football federation meet with sports minister Roselyne Bachelot to restore calm.

Cashing in on the vuvuzelas

Love them or hate, the angry bee drone of the vuvuzelas has become the distinctive sound of the 2010 World Cup.  But will they just be a one-month wonder or can South African firms cash in big time?  The biggest horn maker is Cape Town's Masincedane Sports.   Half the company's R7m (£680,000) revenues in the last decade have been earned in the past 12 months.   The company has already exported horns elsewhere in Africa.

South Africa and the World Cup: the downside

Will the World Cup actually do very much for South Africa's economy?  Even the temporary boost to the economy from additional visitors may be illusory.   There are reports that the number of visitors is well down on those expected, but let's take the original foirecast of 373,000 visitors staying an averae 8 days.

South Africa and the World Cup: the booster's view

There are undoubtedly economic - and political benefits - for South Africa in hosting the World Cup.  It is also possible to exaggerate the benefits and there are some downsides.   For example, an admittedly beautiful and superbly located new stadium has been constructed in Cape Town at well over budget.  What will its legacy use be?   The local football team attracts average attendances of around 3,000.   The local rugby team attracts around 40,000 spectators, but they already have their own ground and are reluctant to change to renting.

The price that clubs pay for the World Cup

It is difficult to think of a sector other than football where a business is required to loan out its key assets to someone else who may return them in a damaged condition which mean they can't be utilised.    A classic example is Michael Essien who has not played for Chelsea since being injured in training for the Africa Cup of Nations in January.