What legacy will the World Cup leave the host nation other than some shiny new stadiums?
That is the question being asked in South Africa as the last of the fans head home.
For the country’s president, there is no doubt the event has been a resounding success.
“It feels really good to stand here before you today and proudly say: “we did it!” It is an emotional moment for this 16 year old nation, wich has only recently emerged from the horrors of Apartheid,” said Jacob Zuma.
There has been widespread praise for the way the country welcomed the world. The hope now is that the positive image created will have long-term benefits.
“I’m proudly South African and I’ve got so much hope. I’ve got hope for our education, hope for our tourism, our economy. I feel as South Africans we can do it,” said Johannesburg resident, Francina Williams.
Neo Geotsilwe added: “It is not gone, I think they will come back again. They will decide to come back, not only for soccer but I think rugby, cricket and for many other things.”
But many South Africans feel the World Cup has brought little if anything at all. While townships like Soweto were sought out by football fans, in Alexandra in the heart of Johannesburg the anticipated boost to the hand-to-mouth economy failed to materialise.
Despite FIFA organising a five-a-side competition on the outskirts of the township, locals could not pay the hefty fee demanded by football’s world governing body to be included on the list of B&B accommodation. Nor were they allowed to sell drinks and snacks to those attending the five-a-side event.
If there is to be a trickle down effect from the millions spent on this event, the people of Alexandra have yet to see it.