Soccer Withdrawal Syndrome (NYSE:SWS)
Business of Sports, Cost and Benefit.
As the month long World Cup comes to an end, experts fear a huge spike in depression and withdrawal symptoms in young men, an increase in youth related crime specially in South Africa and the neighboring countries like Zimbabwe. The expectations were huge specially among the poor South Africans, who feel left out in this rapidly changing post apartheid society. The promised land reforms never materialized, less than 10% of the land has been redistributed to the poor landless farmers.
Its indeed a great victory for South Africa to successfully pull of this huge International event. The soccer fever was everywhere, fans around the world celebrated the success of their favorite teams and cried when they lost, who said men don't cry? even the not so soccer crazy countries like the United States saw a huge jump in TV viewership.
South Africa spent more than $5 Billion Dollars to host this month long event, many argue whether such a huge expenditure for a developing country with rampant poverty could be justified.
However, according to the latest figures South Africa is expected to see as much as $10 Billion Dollars increase in its GDP. The country badly needed highways, bridges and convention centers, most of the money was well spent. South Africa has a large population base and a rapidly growing middle class. It not only will recoup the money it also got a FREE month long publicity, which truly is priceless!
Unlike Greece which spent more than $5 Billion Dollars to host the Olympics, and built so many huge 'Olympic Size' sporting facilities and special purpose villas so far away from the population centers, nearly all of them today are pad locked and rusting. Even the facilities that are close to the population centers are locked-up and the dogs and cats have taken up residence. Its ironic that you can trace the origins of Greece's current financial troubles to the Olympics. After all it's a game, not everyone wins, there always be losers.
People around the world were glued to their TV's for a month and the sudden disappearance of such a hugely stimulating activity tend to cause depression and withdrawal, according to the experts who studied Soccer Withdrawal Syndrome (SWS).
Experts say, Young men are specially vulnerable to this kind of events because such a collective hyper stimulating activity is not easy to replace, even if they find some other activity to occupy their attention, the feeling of belonging and social validation is hard to replace.
Soccer (football) truly is a people's game, ordinary kids from the slums of South America to the African Savannah can identify with the game and the players.
Long Live Soccer! Viva Football!
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