Public opinion towards staging the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ remains overwhelmingly positive in the host nation South Africa, according to latest market research conducted on FIFA’s behalf. The findings from the fourth instalment of a six-wave survey suggest a strong emotional commitment to the tournament, in particular a pronounced sense of pride (90%) in being the first African nation to host football’s premier event.
Surveying was conducted by international research company SPORT+MARKT immediately after the Final Draw in December, and the successful organisation of this event and the ensuing blanket coverage in the media appear to have reinforced respondents’ belief in South Africa’s readiness to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup (84%) and their keen anticipation of it (86%).
Similar to the previous three waves, the vast majority of respondents have high expectations in terms of the potential long-term benefits of hosting the FIFA World Cup, both tangible and intangible: 79% believe it will unite the people of South Africa, 88% see a boost for South Africa’s image abroad, while 91% expect it to create more jobs and 95% think it will strengthen the tourism sector.
“What these findings tell us right from the first round of surveying in December 2008 all the way through to today is that there is a strong feeling of positivity towards the FIFA World Cup among South Africans,” said FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke. “The scores have been consistently high with negligible deviation over the months.”
Of the perceived potential disadvantages of hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup, inflation remains the biggest concern for South African respondents, with 70% believing consumer goods will become more expensive as a result of the competition. However, the 7% point drop in this score since the previous wave in September 2009 represents the biggest fluctuation recorded in this survey and is a welcome development.