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South Africa under FIFA's reign: The World Cup's contribution to urban development


  • Christoph Haferburg


When South Africa hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the move to stage this mega-event at the southern tip of the African continent was lauded as a timely acknowledgement of the growing importance of the ‘global south’. Most of the fears that had been raised before the kick-off proved immaterial once the event was under way. Nine host cities enjoyed the international spotlight; the new and revamped stadiums were the focus of the media. Behind the scenes, however, more infrastructure had to be created, locational decisions taken and structures of governance honed. That this process was thoroughly influenced by FIFA's wishes can be demonstrated by focusing on a few strategic elements, such as the site selection for stadiums and fan parks. The findings in this article sustain the dominant argument in mega-event research: urban development and governance in the host cities are severely affected by these events.

Suggested Citation

  • Christoph Haferburg, 2011. "South Africa under FIFA's reign: The World Cup's contribution to urban development," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(3), pages 333-348, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:28:y:2011:i:3:p:333-348
    DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2011.595992

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