The Local Organising Committee (LOC) of South Africa’s staging of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations has announced that the tournament made a profit of R3.6 million (US$364,000) – a figure significantly higher than initial projections.
The LOC had budgeted for a small surplus of around $54,000 from the tournament, which ran from January 19 to February 10. The event also generated 150% more than initially targeted from sponsorship revenue, while total attendance of 753,169 – a Cup of Nations record – exceeded a goal of 500,000. LOC chairman, Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana, said: “As the LOC we had committed to SAFA (South African Football Association), and to our country that this tournament will be cash positive and that is exactly what we are presenting to you.”
Libya was originally due to host this year’s tournament, only for it to be switched to South Africa in September 2011 amid security concerns. The Cup of Nations marked South Africa’s first major football tournament since it hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but the event faced criticism over poor attendances in Port Elizabeth and Rustenburg, along with substandard playing surfaces, especially in Nelspruit.
South Africa is now focusing attention on its staging of the 2014 African Nations Championship (CHAN). Minister of Sport Fikile Mbalula said the LOC report was welcomed by government, adding lessons will be learnt for next year’s event. “From this tournament, we should be in a position to improve even more for CHAN,” said Mbalula, according to the SAPA news agency. “Our marketing is going to start earlier, unlike with AFCON, where nobody knew what was happening until the last moment.”