Marius Roodt, a researcher at the South African Institute of Race Relations, recently wrote an economic analysis of this World Cup, concluding that from a purely financial standpoint it was a dubious enterprise.
However, he said that by meeting construction deadlines and providing a warm welcome to throngs of foreign visitors, the tournament provided a unique opportunity for the once-ostracized nation to "rebrand itself."
"South Africa and its taxpayers will be paying for this World Cup for decades," he wrote. "But the value of the change in perceptions of this country and the continent will have been priceless."
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