Creating an enduring developmental legacy from FIFA 2010: The Football Foundation of South Africa (FFSA)

David Bek, Alessandro Merendino, Kamilla Swart, Jill Timms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
37 Downloads (Pure)


Research question: The legacies of sport mega-events are widely contested. Whilst the short-term impacts of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa have been largely considered to be positive, there is little evidence of longer term outcomes. This paper contributes to the sport mega-event legacy literature by presenting empirical evidence of the longer term developmental legacy using a case study of a community-focused sports project. Key factors underpinning sustainable legacy outcomes are identified. Research methods: The Football Foundation of South Africa (FFSA) was selected as a case study due to the novel ways in which the project developed. Thirty-eight interviews were conducted with stakeholders involved directly in the FFSA’s day-to-day delivery and management, people from organisations who deliver sport and recreation services at the local and regional levels and children who use the facility. The interviews were recorded and transcribed, and the data were analysed using qualitative content analysis approach. Results and findings: The FFSA is achieving substantial and increasing reach into local, especially disadvantaged, communities. Children expressed very strong positive feelings about the contribution it makes to their lives. Several factors have enabled the FFSA to be successful, with the most critical being the strong institutional context within which the project is embedded involving local, regional, national and global organisations. Implications: The success of the FFSA highlights gaps in mega-event legacy planning. International sport bodies should develop formal mechanisms for drawing their corporate stakeholders together with community-based groups to identify and deliver sustainable developmental programmes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-455
Number of pages19
JournalEuropean Sport Management Quarterly
Issue number4
Early online date13 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2019

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in European Sport Management Quarterly on 13/11/2018, available


  • FIFA2010
  • South Africa
  • corporate social responsibility
  • mega-event legacy
  • sport for development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


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