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2006 World Cup decision Friday, 7 July, 2000, 15:42 GMT 16:42 UK
Analysis: Cash penalties for the losers
Berlin Olympic Stadium - computer simulation of how it will look
Berlin's Olympic Stadium: Venue for the 2006 World Cup final
By Sports correspondent Harry Peart

The controversial decision to award Germany the World Cup in 2006, and the outcry that has followed, underlines the importance of staging major sporting events to the bidding countries.

Hosting a World Cup or an Olympic Games has implications beyond the sporting world.

A major sporting event is now regarded as big business.

Germany can now look forward to an economic boost as it prepares to receive more than a million visitors in 2006.

According to German Government figures, those visitors will spend almost $1bn, and investment in the lead-up to the Cup will be around $400m.

South African business hit

In contrast, South Africa's failed bid had an immediate effect on its currency markets.

Businesses had estimated that foreign investment would have been in the region of more than $2bn. Those hopes for investment and employment were dashed in Zurich.
South African fan in tears
South African football fan: Losing the bid is a big economic blow

During a World Cup or an Olympic Games a country dominates the sporting scene to the exclusion of almost everything else. And with the huge increases in television revenue, driven by the major sponsors, the impact of staging such an event is substantial.

Although a successful bid leads to financial benefits, it has much wider implications.

Before the 1980s, staging a major sporting event was regarded as prestigious, but a financial burden. But since the expansion in sporting wealth, the desire to act as host has become more political.

South Africa's bid was seen as a way of promoting the country under the spotlight of the world.

Status symbol

The next World Cup in 2002 is intended to show the co-operation between two former political rivals - Japan and South Korea.

Like South Africa's failed World Cup bid, Beijing's narrow defeat in its bid to stage this year's Olympics was a body blow to Chinese hopes of showing off its new status to the world.

Beijing and South Africa are expected to try again. Although bitterly disappointed, they and other hopefuls realise that sport can be a key factor to offer a nation.

See also:

07 Jul 00 | 2006 World Cup decision
07 Jul 00 | 2006 World Cup decision
07 Jul 00 | 2006 World Cup decision
06 Jul 00 | 2006 World Cup decision
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