Published on 30th June 2018 by

VPRO Backlight is looking for the creativity of the informal economy versus the tough, Western business model of FIFA.
On June 11 2010 the World Cup in South Africa started, the first on the African continent. For such mega-sport events, developing countries have to catch up on stadiums and infrastructure more than host countries in Europe or North America. To win the nomination, the costs were dramatically underestimated and the revenues grossly overestimated.

The high expenditures are justified by presenting the World Cup as a strategy for economic growth and poverty reduction: the World Cup should be a catalyst to improve the living conditions of the historically disadvantaged. So the government promises priority for the small local entrepreneur, women’s participation, black empowerment and upgrading of disadvantaged areas through the construction of new sports facilities. But the newly built dream stadium in Cape Town is not in a disadvantaged area. It stands in the most expensive white neighborhood, inaccessible to the millions of “disadvantaged” on the far-away Cape Flats.

That raises the question of what is actually the legacy of a mega sport event such as the football World Cup. VPRO Backlight examines the opportunities of those who depend on the informal economy from day to day for their income, and who can only pull themselves out of poverty with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity like this football World Cup. The sellers, transport companies, Bed & Breakfast initiatives in townships, arts and crafts traders, self-appointed guides and other inventive entrepreneurs.

What they have in common is that they all have to deal with the unwavering regulations of FIFA. Tickets, accommodation, transport, marketing, permits and all activities in and around the stadiums: the world football organization manages the entire revenue chain of the football World Cup. VPRO Backlight managed to get hold of contracts that FIFA concludes with the government and municipal authorities about the use of the stadiums, the public fan parks and the public space. Contracts that stipulate, for example, that in and around the stadiums the foodmama’s do not operate, but instead the main sponsor McDonald’s does.

For our main characters from the townships around Cape Town, the question about the legacy of the football World Cup has become very personal. Against the background of the new skyline of architecturally daring stadiums, this is what the broadcast is about: the creativity of the informal economy versus the tough, Western business model of FIFA.
Originally broadcasted by VPRO in 2009.
© VPRO Backlight November 2009

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Director: Rudi Boon, Stefano Bertacchini.
Research: Karen Schoonbee, Gerko Wessel
Camera: Stefano Bertacchini, Karen Schoonbee
Sound: Jabu Msomi, Musa Radebe, Zahir Isaacs
Edit: Arno Ouwejan, Stefano Bertacchini
Production: Ymke Kreiken, Pepijn Boonstra
Editor in chief: Jos de Putter, Henneke Hagen.

Special thanks to:
Thando Gqoloza, Bjorn Rudner, Ari Sitas, Michael Souter, Erica Elk, Andrew Dombuleni, Sias Scott, Anton Dekker, Bart Luirink, Helga van Kampen, Thijs Middeldorp.

English, French and Spanish subtitles: Ericsson.
French and Spanish subtitles are co-funded by European Union.

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