As the final of the 2010 World Cup looms, new research reveals that hosting the tournament has given South Africa a valuable reputational boost among UK consumers.
An emphatic 66 per cent of the 3,000 respondents to PRWeek/OnePoll’s latest survey said the tournament had improved their perceptions of the country.
Just one month ago, PRWeek and OnePoll asked the public how safe a tourist destination they considered South Africa to be. The majority – 56 per cent – said ‘not safe’ and just three per cent said ‘very safe’.
When asked this question again, as the World Cup drew to a close, the majority – 56 per cent – had revised their opinion to ‘quite safe’, but once again only three per cent said ‘very safe’.
The host nation’s ‘passion and enthusiasm’ was chosen as the best thing about the World Cup by 34 per cent of respondents, and the fact Africa has now been brought into the host cycle was named the best thing about the tournament by 26 per cent of the public.
But far and away the worst thing about the World Cup, according to 52 per cent of respondents, was England’s dismal performance. Just nine per cent of respondents were happy with the team’s performance at the World Cup – the remaining 91 per cent were not.
When asked before the tournament if Fabio Capello was the right man for the job of England manager, 84 per cent of respondents said yes. This proportion has now dropped to just 39 per cent, and 54 per cent now think the Italian should resign.
Overall, how well do you think South Africa has hosted the World Cup?
Very well 40%
Quite well 54%
Not very well 5%
How safe a tourist destination do you consider South Africa to be?
Very safe 3%
Quite safe 56%
Not safe 41%
(Before the tournament)
Very safe 3%
Quite safe 41%
Not safe 56%
39% of respondents said Fabio Capello was the right man to be the England boss team choice
(84% before tournament)
35% said they were happy with the England squad selected by Capello resignation
(81% before tournament)
54% said Fabio Capello should now resign
9% were happy with the England team’s performance at South Africa 2010
How I see it
Account director, Pitch
One of the most important things about any World Cup for FIFA is the general perception of how successful the tournament has been on and off the pitch. With only 40 per cent of those asked thinking South Africa had done very well overall as host, it shows that the tournament has hardly been a classic.
The football itself has been average and although South Africa has done a reasonable job as host it hasn’t been an unprecedented success – ‘fan parks’ are often empty, matches haven’t sold out and there have been transport issues.
This puts more pressure on football’s governing body to make the right decision when it comes to selecting a destination for the 2018 World Cup.
The other big story to take out of the survey is almost 95 per cent of those asked believing goal-line technology should now be introduced. The media fallout from the Frank Lampard and Carlos Tevez goals has been a PR disaster for FIFA.