By international, I mean games where participants are from more than 40 countries like the Olympics, FIFA World Cup, Asian Games , (our infamous) Commonwealth Games etc. These games are under the lens of camera and whole world watches this event for 20 odd days. What next?
What will happen to those massive stadia built which are now empty, the outstanding payables and the unaccounted social costs (corruption, bribes, and unaccounted financial costs). The advocates of hosting games will say long terms benefits will justify these costs.
There are basically two kinds of benefits:
- Short term Benefits (fresh cash flows from the visitors that will come to link the host country, officials, athletes, education, media, and cultural events at the International event)
- Long term Benefits (creation of Infrastructure, international attention and Job creation and social cohesion)
Look at number, A report by UBS Investment Research (from February 2010) estimated that preparation for the FIFA World Cup – which commenced four years ago – has added between 0.5% and 2.2% to South African GDP (depending on which infrastructure projects one considers); and overall had created in excess of 300,000 jobs since 2006 – a 2.7% contribution to employment figures.
UBS research also indicated that the three previous World Cup hosting-countries saw their GDP grow by 1.8% on average during the year of the tournament – although determining how much of the growth was associated with the tournament itself is very difficult to ascertain and likely falls well below this number.
Back to India, if you see the preparation, spending and development of infrastructure is confined to host city, Delhi. So the idea of entire country benefitting from these games is abysmal. A report of the Chief Vigilance Commission (CVC) points to corruption at every level in the organization of the games.
The CVC report says that almost all organizations executing infrastructure works for Commonwealth Games have flouted rules in tenders and increased their prices. This means contractors have been paid more than what is the right price. The question is being asked to us: Do you want games or stop corruption? I really don’t have answer to this.
In a nutshell, the benefits and disadvantages of holding major sporting events have few clear answers – aside from the positive psychological boost it may provide for local inhabitants. India, however, can arguably reap benefits – both financial and in terms of international goodwill – by making certain the International games present the country as safe, peaceful, modernized and a viable target of foreign investment.