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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

World Cup offers short term economic boom
to both hosts and competing nations   

By Paul Giblin MOSCOW Russia (Xinhua) -- So far the 2018 World Cup in Russia has been a success as fans from all around the World have enjoyed a football celebration which still has just over a fortnight left to run and which should being economic benefits, not just to the host nation, but to those taking part.

A report by Professor Francesc Rufas, an expert in the economy of football at the EAE Business School in Spain highlights the benefits for the host nation as “a short-term increase of 0.5 percent in GDP, which comes thanks to the economic boost given by tourism and the construction of infrastructure.”

This can be offset by rising prices with an average 1.2 percent increase in inflation during the tournament as bars, hotels, airlines etc put their prices up to take advantage of the tens of thousands of extra visitors during the competition.

Host nations also have to beware of an increase in the deficit, which rose by 15,000 million dollars in the case of Brazil 2014 and 12,000 million dollars in South Africa four years earlier.

However, he believes a World Cup can still be profitable “when investment is directed at re-usable infrastructures and improvements in public transport and traffic,” (road, rail links etc), although these effects are seen clearer in countries where there is no corruption and all the money goes into the projects rather than into pockets.

Even just playing in a World Cup can have a positive effect on a country’s economy thanks to what Professor Rufas describes as the “euphoria effect,” and there can be a rise of up to 10-15 percent in the purchase of certain items (such as new TV’s to watch games).

And of course when people are watching games, they tend to eat and drink, so there is also a 10-15 percent increase in the sales of certain kinds of food and drink.

That is accompanied by a 20-30 percent rise in advertising revenue as producers look to take advantage of a short-term boom and sell their products to fans who not only want to watch their country play on a new TV, but to celebrate their triumphs with perhaps a beer or 3.

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Russia’s “UN World Cup history” to pass to Sweden

By Ma Jianguo UNITED NATIONS New York (Xinhua) -- Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya said on Friday the Russia’s UN mission has made in bringing the World Cup to the United Nations Security Council will be passed to Sweden.

Answering a question by Xinhua, the Russian envoy to UN said that Russia has not only successfully brought the Russian World Cup spirit into the UN by arranging several sites for UN staff to watch the game through TV live broadcast, but also playing a football in front of the seat of the president of the Council.

Ambassador Nebenzya said the Swedish ambassador has promised to inherit this historical mission. As Russia takes over the presidency of the Security Council, Sweden has indicated that it will continue to leave football in front of the chair of the rotating president. So Russia’s handover with the Swedish ambassador and the rotating presidency of the Council is also the handover of the World Cup.

Nebenzya said, “we asked our Swedish colleagues if they want to continue to have the ball on the president’s table. If they said no, we would take the ball away but they said they will uphold the tradition and hold it until the World Cup is over.”

A student football match, co-organized by Russian mission to UN and several other missions, was held at United Nations International School last Saturday when children representing wight qualified World Cup teams fight out for the trophies.

The Security Council appeared to have been “intruded” by football during opening ceremony of the Russian World Cup on June 14th when representatives of the 15 member states of the Security Council, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and UN General Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak, all put up their national football jerseys at the meeting hall.

Guterres showed up in a black referee’s uniform and at one point held up a yellow card. Chinese Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu, who wore a trade mark Chinese red jersey raised up a table-tennis bat, posed with Guterres and Nebenzya for photos in front of correspondents.

The Swedish representative showed his super skill when he juggled a ball for over ten times on his feet.

For the past two weeks of the World Cup season, a football in front of the president’s seat, must have been an eye catcher at the Security Council and with days ahead of Swedish takeover of the SC presidency, people started to wonder about the fate of what called “Security Council intruder.” However, the friendly transfer of the football between Russian and Swedish ambassadors seems to have conveyed a positive signal of the on-going World Cup, when the SC football is serving as a goodwill ambassador.

The Russian Ambassador said at the opening day of the World Cup that “we will not only unite during the World Cup, we will continue to unite in the future.”      The football, dubbed “intruder of the Security Council” will witness the Russian-made history at UN during the whole length of the global tournament.

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