Ten years on: FIFA World Cup legacy
It is now a decade since South Africa hosted the FIFA World Cup back in 2010 and I find myself in reflective mood as to the actual legacy of that tournament. Living overseas I cannot comment on everyday benefits or more widespread infrastructure improvements resulting from FIFA's showpiece event. But the glaring critique of these indulgences are often the stadia; while some maintain their use beyond the tournament many quickly becoming white elephant burdens, draining financial resources in upkeep and maintenance while others simply descend into near-complete dereliction.
Taking a look at South Africa from afar, it would seem that the redesigned Soccer City has arguably been the moderate success story of the World Cup, hosting the Kaiser Chiefs and Bafana Bafana while also hosting occasional Springbok rugby fixtures and international events such as Guns 'n' Roses. When visiting Cape Town I felt the glistening new stadium sat alone and almost forgotten? Yes Ajax attract a paltry home crowd to the 60,000+ venue and the Stormers will vacate Newlands to take up residence - along with presumably Bok Tests and the British & Irish Lions in 2021 - but FIFA's insistence on the postcard location seems to be its hindrance now? Moses Mabhida in Durban sits virtually next door to Kings Park, where I understand the Sharks still prefer to call home?
What about the Nelson Mandela Bay in PE, the Peter Mokaba in Polokwane and others besides? It's a genuine question of curiosity that intrigues me and I would welcome the informed comments and opinions from you all....