The FIFA World Cup is undoubtedly the most-watched and attention-grabbing event on our planet. It happens every four years and has been running for close to a century now, with every member of FIFA participating in the two-year contest that culminates with a month-long tournament, one that usually happens in summer. In the past, thirty-two teams participated in the final competition, but the number will expand to forty-eight in 2026.
According to available data, the last edition of the Cup got viewed by around five billion people, with one and a half billion tuning in for the final game between France and Argentina, which the latter team won. The tournament is a money-printing machine, as it has the eyes of the planet upon it. Hence, advertisers pour mountains of cash to get their products in match shots, and activity at sportsbooks like those listed on sites like https://punters.pub goes through the roof during the month of the competition.
The AGA (American Gaming Association) noted that twenty million US adults wagered $1.8 billion on the event. Please note that this marked the initial time the World Cup was available for legal betting action online in the world’s most developed economy because mobile sports betting was forbidden in the US before 2018.
These are only a few figures that show the interest and economic effect the FIFA World Cup has. In this article, we shall look at what it does for its host nations, good and bad.
Its Positive Economic & Cultural Influence
In the past, hosting the World Cup was a privilege only bestowed on developed nations. Nevertheless, in 2010, South Africa got this honor, and Russia followed suit in 2018 as another unlikely contender. The 2010 contest got seen as a somewhat coming-of-age tale from the embattled continent of Africa. It came with a $3 billion cost, shouldered by a nation with much more pressing issues to spend money on hand.
Most people do not understand that the effort of getting ready for an event of this scale not only involves building and renovating stadiums but also entails creating and improving infrastructure. That means building/rebuilding roads, airports, hotels, and more. In South Africa, transport costs incurred the most sizeable price tag, one of $1.3 billion aimed to improve air, rail, and road links.
Despite the fact that South Africa has never released official numbers of how much it earned from the event. Per one study by Grant Thornton, a top risk analysis and finance country, the boost to the country’s economy amounted to $6 billion. It also allegedly created 159,000 novel employment opportunities, part and full-time ones.
In Russia, it created 100,000 new jobs, adding over $14 billion to the economy of the globe’s largest country. But aside from these financial numbers, the World Cup serves as a promotional tool for its host nations, showing their potential and splendor to the most massive audience possible, introducing people from all corners to their cultures.
The Negative Aspects of Hosting the World Cup
So, what are the cons of organizing the most popular sports championship ever? For one, overspending on infrastructure has a track record of leaving some countries in piles of debt, money spent on things that boast little use after the tournament concludes. Brazil is one such example. It spent $11 billion on the 2014 World Cup, $1 billion of which went to a stadium that now gets used as a bus depo.
Furthermore, it is not only the spending that has to get done after a host nation wins its bid but also the expenses they rack up when trying to get it. Qatar and Brazil spend a decade or more trying to get the right to host their respective competition. The process features permanent detailed financial proposals, fulfilling commercial and broadcasting criteria, and more. In some instances, the total juice has proven not worth the squeeze. Nonetheless, getting to host this coveted event gets seen as an esteem that many nations desire despite the listed drawbacks.