Does sport merit the vast sums of money that are spent on it?

YES: Investing vast sums of money on sport yields many positive returns for society, thereby justifying the expense.

  1. Investing vast sums of money in the training of national athletes helps improve the nation’s competitive edge at international sporting events, thereby boosting its international prestige and reputation as a sporting nation.

  2. Investing immense financial resources into the building of sports infrastructure such as a stadiums and express bus lanes can be justified as these facilities are used for a sustainable duration after major sporting events.

  3. From an educational angle, spending large sums of money to promote sports as a co-curricular activity instills desirable values such as sportsmanship in youths.

  4. Investing large sums of money in the preparation and hosting of international sporting events yields high economic returns for countries in various sectors such as tourism and construction.

NO: Investing vast sums of money on sport has not yielded proportionate positive returns, thereby making it a less justifiable activity.

  1. The economic gains from being recognized as a sporting nation are at best intangible and at worst, disproportionately small compared to the investment put into athletes, who may not always win competitions.

  2. Often, the infrastructure built for major sporting events is underutilized with the closure of the event, making the initial cost of building the infrastructure much higher than its rate of return.

  3. The vast sums of money spent on sports may be discriminatory in nature and focus only on developing athletes identified as potentially representing the country, rather than all young citizens.

  4. While the economic gains from hosting international sporting events are undeniable, they tend to be unsustainable and do not solve the underlying economic problems of poorer countries, making the vast public expenditure unjustifiable.

  5. Attempts to clean up the image of the country prior to the event, such as the forced removal of squatter villages from competition venues, also incur high public expenditure and social costs that is both ethically and fiscally reprehensible.