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Surprisingly, the answer to all these questions is yes. Kinshasa has hosted six major sporting events in the past two years, from two World Cups, to the Group of 20 Summit, the International Youth Forum, and the World Youth Athletics Championships. This year the city is hosting 20 World Cup matches, with a corporate sponsorship value of more than $14 million. And it’s all part of a plan to boost the country’s economy — in the “long term.”
“The World Cup represents a major milestone for the new government,” Leopold Kabinda, president of the DRC Football Federation and brother of Kinshasa’s mayor, told me after attending his team’s first training session at the Louis Lumumba stadium. “Our goal is to replicate this level of success on a regional, national, and continental basis.”
As Kabinda emphasized, the World Cup is a chance for the country to showcase itself as a modern, industrial-based economy. A huge government-sponsored advertising campaign is underway, with more than $6 million in advertising money split between FIFA, the DRC Ministry of Sport, and the DRC Football Federation, with 0b46394aab