Considering the money involved, should developing countries be allowed to host major sporting events?

Question Analysis: Definition of Key terms

Developing countries: Nations that have not reached first world status yet, low Human Development Index (HDI) relative to other countries. Basic infrastructure could be missing from the nation, and the nation is riddled with poverty.

Host major sporting events: Olympics, World Cup, Youth Olympics, Paralympics

Should: need to discuss from an ethical and moral perspective for this question, whether it is right or not for nation to host the events.

Assumption: Developing nations should focus on their own economic development and allocate their money effectively to alleviate the citizens’ welfare rather than spending money on the unnecessary.

To do well for this question, students should consider whether developing nations have anything to benefit from hosting major sports events given the huge sum of money involved. Do note that students have to address the monetary sum in every paragraph, since this is a criteria/condition that is given in the essay. Students would also need to compare the benefits and the drawbacks of hosting these major events in a time period, to assess whether it is worthwhile to host these events. This question should not be a listing of the benefits and demerits of hosting a sports event.

No they should not host major events:

  • Hosting these major events takes up a large portion of the country’s budget and it would be more prudent for the nation to allocate these money more effectively in resolving more pressing domestic issues such as poverty and infrastructure. Spending money on these areas would have a more direct impact on the citizen’s lives than hosting a major sports event. Also, the main aim of the government is to take care of their citizens’ welfare first. In fact, spending on these sports event would increase the income inequality of the nation even further in countries such as India and China, where the government already has limited funding to begin with.
  • The gains of hosting these major sports events could be too short term, especially in terms of tourism, especially if the tourist sector is small to begin with. It is highly likely that most of the developing nations are not very open to trade and that their tourist sector is highly undeveloped. Given the economic costs and the uncertainties, it would be more prudent for the nation to not even host these events.

Yes they should host major events:

  • Despite the high costs involved, developing nations should still go ahead to host the event as it would force the nation to develop important infrastructure that could aid the nation in growth later. Governments would have to invest heavily in transport and communication, hotels and sporting arenas in order to ensure a smooth hosting. An example would be India and China which invested heavily in infrastructure for the Commonwealth Games and the Beijing Olympics.
  • Developing nations should host these events in order to gain international standing in the world. The money that they have to spend on these sporting events would be a small price to pay assuming that the nation is able to present themselves well on a world stage, and hence gain the attention and attraction of the other nations and help to boost tourism in the long run. It makes perfect sense for China to bid and host the Beijing Olympics to showcase to the world that they have progressed and ready to take on international events.
  • Despite the huge sum of money involved, it makes sense of the developing nation to host these sporting events, assuming that the nation would like to develop their sports sector. The standard of sports will improve in the country given the vast spending on sporting infrastructure. It could have the effect of stimulating interest in sports and producing potential sportsman.

Back to the A’levels H1 General Paper 2016 Paper 1 Solutions

17 Comments

  • Kevin

    Hi Christine! Could you please help me check whether my points make sense?

    Overall stand: they should be allowed.

    1. Many concern that Some developing countries are financially incapable of hosting such events
    – government budget deficit–> delay construction of stadiums+worsen domestic eco status.eg: Rio

    – Rebut: not necessarily will lead to worse eco status, developing does not mean poor. Eg: Beijing Olympic(smooth sailing construction progress)

    2. The long term benefits justify the short term cost
    – financially: boost tourism. Eg: Rio, Beijing
    – socially and politically: lead to cultural exposure which raise the reputation of the host countries–> attract more tourist to come–> increase income.

    3.. The environmental problems in developing countries make them undesirable places to host events, due to lack of budget to deal with the problems. Eg: South Africa, Rio

    Rebut: however, hosting events is an opportunity to reveal the issues and attract the attention from the global communities to help them with the problems.eg: world health organization starts investigation of the toxic water quality at Guanabara Bay, Rio.

    I have 5 main paragraphs(rebuttals are written separately from the antithesis)

    • Christine Chen

      Hey there, congrats your points are definitely valid. Good job, and thanks for adding the part on how hosting a sports event would actually open up the country’s problem on a larger scale to critiques.

  • jason

    Hi, my points briefly are
    1) funds are wasted and not productively spent, especially in developed countries where infrastructures are not properly built, education system is not yet world class and a lack of quality healthcare services, funds should have been diverted towards all these purposes. For example in the Brazil world cup in 2014, many people were against the idea of spending billions of dollars on building a huge soccer stadium for no purposes..
    2) greatly worsen government budget deficit, may have to borrow from international monetary fund and hence loses national sovereignty, may deter foreign investors and greatly worsen the economic situation.
    3) However, it helps to boost overall reputation and international standing of the country, and brings in huge tourism revenue due to hotel accommodation and tourists watching the match live etc,
    4) promote greater interest and develop a passion in sports to live a healthy lifestyle, particularly due to the influence of their favourite athletes
    5) foster greater harmony and fraternity among communities, especially with people from the same country gathering and unite to support their favourite athletes, leading to greater bonding and counter divisive forces

    Are these points like valid… cause I didn’t really address the money problem in every single paragraph, mainly only the first two

    • jason

      Oh and regarding the boosting overall reputation part, I said may also provide greater incentive for countries such as Beijing to clear up environmental problems, so as to leave a good impression for tourists

      • Christine Chen

        definitely true, because when you host sports events, your country’s domestic issues are also brought to light. Other countries may put pressure on you to clear up these problems.

    • Christine Chen

      as long as within the rest of your paragraphs you can quantify that these benefits outweigh the sum of money that you spent, then you would be fine.

      • john

        Hi so if I didn’t like specifically state “despite the huge amounts of money spent on hosting sporting events” from paragraphs to 3 and 5, will I be penalised? I thought just by stating this statement does not really give you any credit..

  • Amanda

    Hi, do you mind helping me see if my points are valid? really worried about this!
    1) No because insufficient infrastructure + money, should spend on more pressing needs eg. Brazil’s swimming pool saga

    2) No because developing countries are more prone to viewing this as a profit making scheme (there is motivation for developing cties to do so) and hence taints the true spirit (very scared about this point)
    eg. terrenganu matches between msia Cambodia etc many illegal activities such as sports betting

    Rebuttal: even developed countries are vulnerable due to greedy nature of humans
    eg. FIFA scandal

    3) Yes because it brings revenue employment etc. (very scared about this too because it seems to contradict point 1) which would be more beneficial for developing countries than developed because it doesn’t just add to countries large reserves + political standing and Intl repute eg. Beijing Olympics showing their rise as a superpower (scared that this eg. is not appropriate bc I didn’t elaborate on revenue gained, more on standing)

    4) Yes bc it builds national unity for social stability for the economy eg. Afghanistan cricket matches, feuding groups worked together (not entirely true eg.:( )

    basically scared that my entire paper is contradictory + lacks good eg. 🙁 would appreciate your input on this! thanks!

    • Christine Chen

      Hi Amanda, some of your points here are valid. Whether they are contradictory or not would depend on the manner in which you are writing it. They could be framed as a counter-argument and then an argument. Also, for the second point I feel that it is not relevant. It does not matter that it will taint the true spirit of sports. What the question is more interested would be the benefits vs the drawbacks of the developing nations investing so much money in hosting sports. For the 4th point, you would need to address national unity on a time horizon. Does it build national unity for a long period of time or is it only short term? Also, would a developing nation need to have national unity to meet their other needs and to “pay” so much for it? Hope this clarifies.

  • worried

    Hello Christine, could you comment on my points please? 🙁 I only made one stand for agree so I’m really afraid I’ll be marked down for content. Also, I only talked about the Olympics so I’m really afraid I’ll be marked down for scope of examples too 🙁

    Intro: talked about the values of sports and how sports seek to fulfill inclusiveness and equality: thus no country should be deliberately left out and very country should have an equal opportunity to host sporting games thus display equality
    (But I think I didn’t make a very clear Overall stand): ultimately developing countries should not be denied the right to host major sporting events, but they should only do so only within their limits

    1. Should be allowed because of the potential revenue in terms of tourism: money will be beneficial for developing countries who require large sums of money for development
    Eg. LA raked $200mil for a certain Olympics hosted
    Rebuttal: (I only used one example so I said that) solely one/ rare examples of country gaining massive income doesn’t prove the point enough and also shows that it is actually quite difficult to ensure that country would ultimately benefit from hosting the major sporting event

    (Halfway kinda paragraph???)
    Talked about how countries could also land themselves in great debts instead of earning money
    Eg. Montreal 1976, took 3 decades to clear debts; Athens exceeded budget by 97% > proving that any country, regardless of developing or developed, should likelier not go beyond their limits / what they can offer

    2. Should not host because of the wastage in resources: Large amounts of unused resources after the event: reflect that resources could be put to greater use and for things that citizens can benefit in the LT/ daily lives.
    Eg. China’s Bird Nest (Beijing 2008) (I think so)
    – large venues: not filled up entirely thus underutilized
    (Made an assumption that people in developing countries would not usually spend income on recreational sports or make use of venues thus also does not benefit citizens. Is this contentious??)

    3. Developing counties should not be considered as a potential host for major sporting events because hosting such an event would require massive amounts: thus neglecting more important country goals such as reducing income gap or increasing educational opportunities
    Eg. Delhi Commonwealth Games 2004; was extremely controversial, 1 in 3 Indians live below the poverty line and 40% of the world’s hungry are in India: reflects severity of problem and thus already limited resources should be channelled into improving the standard of living of the citizens first before considering hosting sporting events, which could be seen as luxurious / unnecessary.

    4. Even if there are monetary benefits, usually unequal advantages: businesses earn heaps while little trickle down to the poor: increases income gap. Plus the poor / minority are often marginalized in the larger scheme of things
    Eg. Rio citizens displaced and forced out of homes to make way for sporting venues

    5. I can’t remember this but I think in my conclusion I added that developed countries are generally not only wealthier in resources / budget but they are also better in managing resources well due to fewer cases of corruption. Unclean / corrupt governments in developing countries would cause already limited resources to be insufficient for the requirements of games
    Eg. Delhi 2004; infrastructure for games were below par
    (Is this too overboard of an assumption??)

    Thank you in advance for your time!!

    • Worried again

      Oh under point 1. I wrote increase in employment opportunities for people too

      Also for point 3. I meant to say “require massive amounts of money, thus reducing the already limited budget for other more important goals”

      THANKS SO MUCH 🙂

    • Christine Chen

      Hi dear, pls do not be overly worried for your points. They definitely do fit the requirements of the question. Yes it is also alright that you only have one point on the other side of the argument. At least you provided balance, rather than not providing at all. Unfortunately, scope is quite important, so I hope that you have expanded it sufficiently throughout your essay.

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