Purpose: The primary goal of this research study was to describe the experiences of South African spectators as it pertains to the 2010 FIFA World Cup (WC) South AfricaTM . As this study focused on spectators' experiences before, during and after the 2010 FIFA WC, three secondary goals were identified, namely to describe South African spectators' experiences prior to the 2010 FIFA WC, to describe South African spectators' experiences during the 2010 FIFA WC and to describe South African spectators' experiences after the 2010 FIFA WC.
Methodology: The researcher adopted a descriptive phenomenological research position, in particular the Duquesne Phenomenological Research Method (DPRM). With reference to this study, an objective phenomenon (the 2010 FIFA WC) was primarily understood by the researcher through the participants' (South African spectators) subjective descriptions of their first-hand experience of this phenomenon. This objective phenomenon presented itself within the mind of the individual and the researcher had access to this reality through the participants' written accounts and consequent interviews. Therefore two methods of data collection was used. The notions of reduction, bracketing, and free imagination were used in order to keep the researcher's personal biases and prior knowledge from contaminating the knowledge of the objective phenomenon.
Findings: From the experiences prior to the 2010 FIFA WC there were four essences that emerged. Firstly, there was a sense of anticipation in SA in the build up towards the tournament. Participants were excited about socialising with foreigners, the performance of the South African national team as well as the opportunity to showcase SA's capabilities to host such an event. The second essence that emerged was the descriptions of the atmosphere in SA. There were some mixed emotions experienced leading up to the tournament with some being excited and others feeling pessimistic about SA's ability to host the tournament successfully. Thirdly, there was a sense of companionship between the participants and their friends as well as within SA as a nation. The final essence focussed on obtaining tickets, where some found it to be a
complicating process while others had a surprisingly positive experience. From the experiences during the tournament there were again four essences. Firstly, participants had mostly positive experiences of attending the live matches. Secondly, participants made mention of the impressive organisation of the event. The third essence related to the enjoyable social interactions that they experienced. The final essence was a description of their experiences of the Vuvuzelas that came to be very popular during the tournament. From the experiences after the tournament, there were four essences. The first essence describes how there was a sense of unity among SA as a nation but it seemed to have faded quite quickly after the tournament. Secondly, the participants discovered a lot about themselves during the tournament and the essence of the positive experiences of socialising was once again prevalent. Finally, the participants were impressed with the improvements in infrastructure that left a physical legacy of a “once in a lifetime” event