South Africa and the 2010 FIFA World Cup
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It is fair to say that sport politics has played a significant role in South Africa’s identity in global affairs. As this chapter shows, the case of apartheid and debates around South Africa’s subsequent inclusion and exclusion from international sporting membership and competition demonstrates sport’s political nature; the country’s decision to stage the 2010 FIFA World Cup to showcase South Africa’s emerging status on the world stage aptly—and perhaps ironically—acts as a case study for how states seek to acquire politics-through-sport, in part as an attempt to rid themselves of their negative historical connotations. Since 2010 and the staging of the first ever African football World Cup, the country’s continued desire to use sport for state objectives is demonstrated through South Africa’s failed bids for the 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cup, and the initial securing of the rights to the 2022 Commonwealth Games in 2015, which were later stripped due to concerns over Durban’s financial capabilities to stage the tournament.
Keywords2010 World Cup Sport politics Politics-through-sport
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