I looked at some of the World Cup opening ceremony, and it reminded me very much of the Africa that I knew in the late 20s. It had that innocence, instead of the technocratic approach in so many of the other opening sequences. On the other hand, I watched the first match and it saddened me to see the empty seating with all those crowds outside the stadium. It caused me to evaluate in my own mind how these large events were staged, what went into the staging, and who was responsible for the staging and footting the bill.
I can understand the virtue of sport in the round, to the individual, to the country, and the welfare of the people in it. We have all seen the upsurge of interest in sport when there are large worldwide and domestic competitions being promulgated by all the media. What I’m objecting to personally is the mindless approach to the problems of hosting any one of these large events. In highly developed countries such as ours, building new stadia and training facilities, is affordable and essential for the welfare and fitness of the coming generation, and inducing an urge to take part, if not necessarily to compete. In a country like Africa, life standards could not be lower, it is eminently farcical to build stadia to accommodate thousands, when the average figures for people on the terraces in the country is bound to be small by comparison. I feel that the lifespan of these stands and pitches will be short and they will crumble into dust. It must have been the responsibility of the international Board, to have overseen this possibility when Africa was submitting their proposals. As for leaving the stands empty, with people outside wanting but not affording to get in, has a lot to do precedent.
It is well known by my readers that I’m against hosting things like the Olympics because the people who are contributing to finance the games are the ones most unlikely to ever see an Olympic games themselves. It would therefore seem logical that the games should be held in several suitable countries, based on population, accommodation and ease of travel. This doesn’t stop the individual countries from having Olympic sized facilities for their nationals to train on and enjoy. To say that the value of the Olympic Games is that it influences countries to build facilities that they would otherwise not have, is clearly specious, in this day and age, public opinion would override this if the need and demand was there.