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Resident African immigrants’ perceptions of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ and its associated African legacy: a case study of Cape Town
South Africa goes down in the annals of African history as the first nation on the continent to host an edition of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup in 2010. The event has been well publicised by the host nation as an “African World Cup”, with a number of economic, socio-cultural and political legacies projected for all of Africa’s citizens. Such a scenario has triggered hope of anticipated benefits in the minds of such citizens. In this light, several studies in relation to mega-events and the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, linked to perceptions of the event impact on relevant stakeholders, has mainly targeted local South African communities. Given that the event was designed and planned within the framework of an African affair, and with South Africa’s demographic groups being inclusive of resident African immigrants, the study attempted to determine the perceptions of such immigrants residing in Cape Town with respect to the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ and its associated African legacy. The study was conducted before the hosting of the World Cup and the assessment was therefore prospective. In all, 450 questionnaires were administered to respondents in different areas in Cape Town by means of the simple convenient sampling method. Of such questionnaires, 406 were deemed usable and therefore formed the sample size for the study. The key findings of the study in terms of demographic profile reveal the average age of respondents to be 30 years, with more men than women participating in the study. Although the study confirms the male domination of football in terms of participation, increased participation by women is noted in the study. Furthermore, the findings also indicate a high level of participation of resident African immigrants in Cape Town during the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, as spectators, volunteers and operators of small businesses. Most respondents perceived the event as generating positive economic benefits for South Africa and the African continent as a whole. However, the respondents noted concerns regarding the issues of crime, the disruption of daily lives and the increase in the price of goods and services that could result from the hosting. Findings further revealed that a slight majority of respondents were aware of the projected African legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. The study provides the basis for future research into the perceptions of African immigrants in relation to sport mega-events in Africa. The different roles assumed by such immigrants and the initiatives undertaken in preparation for the event warrants a post-event assessment with a view to determine any shift in perceptions and expectations that might pave the way for a comparative analysis to be done.