Mexico 1968 and South Africa 2010: development, leadership and legacies

Chris H. Bolsmann, Keith Brewster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this essay we compare the rationales for hosting the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City with the FIFA World Cup 2010 to be held in South Africa. We draw on in-depth interviews, archival materials and a range of press coverage. We argue that three broad overlapping themes are apparent in both case studies. These are the developmental rhetoric both hosts employ in the justification of holding the events in their respective countries. Mexico and South Africa convey a leadership role that stretches across the South American and African continent respectively. Finally, both countries argue that the legacy the respective tournament leaves is important.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1284-1298
Number of pages15
JournalSport in society
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009

Bibliographical note

This is an electronic version of an article published in Bolsmann, Chris H. and Brewster, Keith (2009). Mexico 1968 and South Africa 2010: development, leadership and legacies. Sport in Society, 12 (10), pp. 1284-1298. Sport in Society is available online at:


  • 1968 Olympic Games
  • Mexico
  • FIFA
  • World Cup 2010
  • South Africa
  • developmental rhetoric
  • leadership role
  • South American continent
  • African continent
  • legacy


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