Some have been glued to TV screens watching President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala drama play out; others have been glued to the football. And as the Fifa World Cup goes into its quarter-final stages this weekend it is worth reflecting on our own 2010 World Cup and its lessons.

Qatar’s hosting of the tournament has been hugely controversial, for human rights and labour reasons as well as because of the taint of corruption and the weird timing. It has also been hugely expensive. By contrast, SA’s successful hosting was in many ways a high point in its post-apartheid record. SA managed the feel-good tournament Qatar has failed to achieve. It did so in the wake of the global financial crisis, helping the economic recovery. And it did so relatively cheaply...

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