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INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT


redevelop existing – football stadia and to bring them up to modern standards. Although those plans have since been downscaled due to France winning the bid, it showed a glimpse of how transformative a successful bid can be for the sporting landscape of an emerging nation. Of the remaining MINT countries,


Nigeria made the final round of bidding for the 2014 Commonwealth Games but lost to Glasgow. Recent political unrest might derail sports development and delay the country's advancement however. The only one of the group to show little


interest in developing sport so far has been Indonesia, where sport largely remains a pastime for the wealthy. "It's clear that if you see countries


developing economically, getting people out of poverty and creating a more equal society, you are very likely to soon see higher levels of participation as well as increased ambitions to become a player on the international stage," Casey says. "However, bidding, and especially a


successful bid, does not just place the spotlight on the event but also on the hosts. In recent years, this spotlight has drawn attention to the social and economic challenges in many of the host countries which has often seemed to come as a surprise to the event owners.”


Natural resources Adding to the BRIC and MINT countries there is a group of oil and gas-rich nations which are utilising their natural resources to create and develop new sectors for their industry. The obvious example – and


certainly the most high profile – is the United Arab Emirates’ Dubai, which has for decades used oil revenues to build up its tourism sector. Most other emirates have followed suit and created their own centrally-planned, free-market capitalism – although one could argue that the approaches taken by Abu Dhabi, Ras-al Khaimah and Sharjah are different to Dubai’s glitzy theme parks, indoor snow slopes, entertainment venues and luxury hotels. Other countries which are using natural


Samson Idiata of Nigeria was among the African contestants at Glasgow 2014


MINT


MINT is a neologism referring to Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey. The term was coined by US- based asset management firm Fidelity Investments and popularised by Jim O'Neill, former chair of Goldman Sachs, who also created the term BRIC.


resources to future proof their economies by creating new sectors of industry include Kazakhstan, Qatar, Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Angola and Azerbaijan. In all of these countries, tourism will play a major part in economic growth – and sport will be one of the vehicles used to raise awareness of the countries for foreign tourists. Some have already taken the plunge. Qatar was – rather controversially – chosen to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup while Bahrain is now a regular feature on the F1 circuit. Azerbaijan will host the very first European Games in 2015 while Kazakhstan's Almaty is one of the three candidate cities bidding for the 2022 Winter Olympics. "A 'second tier' is beginning to emerge,"


says Casey. "They are perhaps furthest away from having an established sport for all programme domestically, but internationally they are capable and – due to the resources – they are keen to invest in facilities. There are also Sub-Saharan African countries whose economies are growing rather well – such as Angola, Botswana and Zambia.


"How this 'stadium diplomacy' works is that China is keen to build sporting venues in exchange for exclusive trade deals"


58 Sports Management Handbook 2014-2015 www.sportshandbook.com


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