Analysis of major sports or 'mega'-events, including the Soccer World Cup, enables consideration of several overlapping and intersecting issues. These include: centre-periphery relationships related to governance in world sport; power relations between nation states, supranational sport associations and the sports business; the media-sport-business connection; the cultural production of ideologies needed to cover emergent fissures - such as over who actually controls 'global games'; and what the costs and benefits of hosting these events actually are. By focusing on the relationship between the 2002 World Cup and the development of the social and football infrastructure in contemporary Japan, this paper offers insight into the relationship between the global and the local, and especially the last of these issues. It concludes that attempts to utilise football and the (co-)hosting of the 2002 World Cup for sports purposes has benefited the development of the sport as a commercial spectacle rather than as an everyday practice. Related goals, such as the relocation of population from the centre to the periphery, economic income generation and a general improvement in the quality of life of the Japanese population as a whole, are still far from being accomplished.
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