How the World Cup left a lasting legacy in South Africa

The FIFA World Cup that was staged in South Africa between June and July of 2010 left a lasting impression in the minds of sports fans. The competition took place years before the gambling industry, as we understand it today, was created. For example, watching matches on your smartphone wasn’t yet popular or anywhere near as effective as it is today. Online gambling in Wisconsin and across the United States wasn’t possible, while players in Canada had to work under strict rules. All that has changed for the better.

Today, soccer lovers and followers of the World Cup that will be played in November and December 2022 in Qatar can watch matches on their smartphones. They can view games from anywhere in the world, contact teams and players on social media and watch use popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to purchase official team merchandise or buy a ticket for the next match due off that catches your eye. 

Yes, the sport has been changed forever by technology, but many of the luxuries enjoyed by soccer fans in 2022 can be credited to the good work done during and the legacy left behind after the World Cup in South Africa more than a dozen years previously.

Bold promises made

Qatar has made some bold promises about how they will run their World Cup and the technology used to keep both the players and spectators safe from the dangerously high temperatures felt in the region, even during November and December. The hosts have also spoken at length about creating a green World Cup that will be powered by renewable energies, showing those watching from every corner of planet football that a carbon-neutral event can happen, even at the scale of the World Cup. 

The plan in Qatar is to show off its natural resources, the country’s wealth and its ambitious plans for the future. There is also a goal there to educate nations planning on staging the World Cup in future on how green they can be. That applies to United 2026, which is the next World Cup after Qatar that will be played in the United States, Mexico and Canada with more teams in attendance and more games played than ever before.

Regardless of how well Qatar does in hosting World Cup 2022, the region has its work cut out for it if they are to get anywhere near matching the legacy left by South Africa in 2010. That was a World Cup that had a huge impact on the sport but also on the country of South Africa and the wider continent of Africa. Thanks to World Cup 2010, we have seen a surge in the number of soccer fans in the region, and this has led to an increase in the number of players in the South African leagues as well as the quality of players now breaking through to the international squad.

Legacy of 2010

Visit the major cities of South Africa today, and you will see plenty of evidence of the legacy of 2010. The most notable are the ten state of the art stadiums that critics said wouldn’t be ready in time, then would be pulled down after the world’s media moved on. Both claims were wide of the mark. The stadiums left behind by South Africa 2010 remain in excellent condition, and they are well used by various sports clubs regularly.

South Africa 2010 was free of serious crime and passed without incident. The moves made by the local authority and police help keep both residents and visitors safe with the tactics used carried on to other major public gatherings in the country. Security forces now have a better understanding of how to deal with similar situations.

Soccer City had thousands of empty seats during the opening ceremony, and that was down to mistakes made in transport with the city of Johannesburg gridlocked. The nation quickly solved these issues, meaning we didn’t see another example of poor planning or traffic problems in the approach to games.

Tickets were the one area FIFA wanted to improve upon following South Africa 2010, and they have done so. During matches 12 years ago, too many tickets were overpriced or used up by hospitality, keeping regular fans locked out.