Mega sports events as political tools
A case study of South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 FIFA Football World Cup
in Sport and diplomacy
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This chapter responds to issues surrounding mega sports events using a study of the political and international relations dimensions of South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 Football World Cup. The findings presented confirm the importance of foreign policy in the political ambitions held for the event and provide discussion points concerning the position of middle powers within the international community and the policy tools available to them. They also highlight how the value placed on the foreign policy potential of the event, such as the perceived opportunity to demonstrate parity of status with the developed international community, reduced the capacity to pursue or protect domestic policy interests. This notwithstanding, positive outcomes were perceived in a range of areas which suggests that hosting events in developing country contexts may provide valuable opportunities to advance domestic and foreign policy interests if more is known about the true nature of the opportunities presented and how to realise them.

Sport and diplomacy

Games within games

Editor: J. Simon Rofe

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