World Cup Soccer Day 3

World Cup 2010: Recalling the Joy and Sorrow

Alexia Webster

South Africa. June/July 2010

Euphoria greeted the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the continent’s first. The event, held across the country, ran from June 11 through July 11, and in the final, held at the Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg, Spain beat the Netherlands 1-0.

While most South Africans were enthusiastic about hosting the world’s most watched sporting spectacle, social activists decried the cost of meeting FIFA’s demands for new stadia and tax free profits. Those misgivings were vindicated when US officials this week indicted 14 FIFA officials on corruption charges. Among the charges, the US is alleging fraud and bribery in connection with the selection of South Africa as the 2010 host, the FIFA elections the following year, and in several sport marketing deals.

The US Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, said in a press conference that “These individuals and organizations engaged in bribery to decide who would televise games, where the games would be held, and who would run the organization overseeing organized soccer worldwide.”

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