Corruption in Fifa and 2010 World Cup exposed

30 April 2010 - 20:36 By Amukelani Maphophe
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Corrupt dealings within Fifa and questions on how do ordinary South Africans benefit from 2010 World Cup laid out.

The 2010 soccer world cup, dubbed ‘ the African world cup’ is constantly advertised as belonging to all Africans. But a new book titled, Player and Referee Conflicting Interests and the 2010 FIFA World Cup, published by the Institute for Security Studies, reveals corrupt dealings within Fifa and the tournament and also questions the claim that ordinary South Africans will benefit.

So far the government has spent over R33 billion in preparations for the world cup, and expects a 0.5 percent GDP growth this year.

Amongst the corrupt dealings the book looks at are concerns about accommodation, stadium venues and at the centre of everything else to do with the world cup, the issuing of tenders for the various services.

Match Event Services AG’s principal shareholder, Byron PLC has been the official accommodation provider for six previous world cups.

Match has the mandate to provide accommodation to fans at “fair prices and reasonable terms”.

However an investigation by Rob Rose, Sunday Times Journalist, has “confirmed that tourists will have to pay 1000 percent more than they would normally pay for accommodation in certain cases”.

The book also reveals that the City of Johannesburg has signed a contract with a company called National Stadium South Africa (NSSA) which was awarded the contract to manage Soccer City before and after the World Cup for a period of ten years.

The contract signed between FIFA and the city states that FIFA will have to pay the City 10 % of its ticket sales for matches and events held at the stadium during the world cup.

However, Rose questions whether the R3.4 billion spent upgrading the stadium will actually yield any return for the city of Johannesburg and the tax payer.

This because, the contract between the city, and the management company NSSA, requires the city to relinquish “all the cash it will earn for the world cup from FIFA to … NSSA”, said Rose.

Strong contenders for the Cape Town stadium venue were Athlone and Newlands.

But Sam Sole, contributing author, said that Sepp Blatter signed the agreement to have Green Point as the venue, on 15 March 2006, a day before FIFA’s executive committee met to consider the six contending venues.

As of that day, Cape Town was legally bound to deliver Green Point as the venue despite it being the most expensive of the other six.

Revelations of corruption on FIFA’s side do not seem to be much of a surprise to contributing author, Andrew Jennings.

He said of FIFA: “The unaccountable structure they’ve installed is honed to deliver the game to the needs of global capitalism – with no checks or restraints. Just cheques.”

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