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Rationales Rhetoric and Realities: FIFA’s World Cup in South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014

The 2010 FIFA World Cup was heralded by mainstream media outlets, the local organisers, the South African government and FIFA as an unequivocal success. The month-long spectacle saw South Africa Take centre stage and host the world’s largest single sporting event. This occurred against a backdrop of rationales and promises made that the event would leave lasting legacies for all, in particular marginalised South Africans. The reality is quite different. In this article we consider the South African World Cup in the build up to Brazil 2014. We argue that the rationales and rhetoric are similar in both countries and suggest the reality for Brazil 2014 will be the same as South Africa 2010 in that the mega-event will be primarily funded by significant public investment, while the primary beneficiaries will be private capital and FIFA.