Fifa not a circus, says Blatter, as he hands over R560mFifa not a circus, says Blatter, as he hands over R560m

Fans celebrating the upcoming 2010 FIFA World ...Image via Wikipedia
 The World Cup was "not a circus", Fifa president Sepp Blatter said at the launch of the 2010 Fifa World Cup Legacy Trust for South Africa on Monday.

Fifa did not come into a country, "putting up some tents, and then, when everything is over, taking everything away," he said at the launch at Johannesburg's Soccer City.

Comedy scriptwriters dream of this sort of stuff, especially when Blatter followed it with: "Money is not so important for us, to say how much we put here or there."

This attempt at modesty by the president of the football world governing body that made an ­estimated $3,2-billion solely from sponsorship deals and television rights for the World Cup in South Africa came as Fifa announced that the trust will have a start-up budget of $80-million (R560-million).

The R560-million comes from profits on ticket sales during the World Cup, which amounted in total sales to R5,1-billion, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers study of global sports, entitled Back on Track?, which was released in August.

The trust will cater for football development, education and humanitarian projects in South Africa.

South Africa's outlay for the tournament, inclusive of infrastructure development, R665-million overtime paid to police during the tournament, and other additional expenditure, including marketing and government and parastatals purchasing match tickets, has been conservatively estimated at between R60-billion and R100-billion.

At the launch President Jacob Zuma declared that the tournament alone had contributed one percentage point to South Africa's GDP. That, coupled with "very specific infrastructure development", translated into "enormous" economic benefits for South Africa. 

A slightly rose-tinted spin, commented Udesh Pillay, executive director of the Human Sciences Research Council and author of the book Development and Dreams: The Urban Legacy of the 2010 World Cup.