Sat Oct 22 05:38:04 CAT 2016

Soccer has been turned into a shackle to enslave us

By unknown | Jun 15, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

FEEL IT. It's here! The country is in a celebratory frenzy. But I refuse to be seduced by the vuvuzela into a deep sleep.

FEEL IT. It's here! The country is in a celebratory frenzy. But I refuse to be seduced by the vuvuzela into a deep sleep.

Milan Kundera once wrote that the struggle against power "is the struggle of memory against forgetting". During this World Cup the biggest struggle is to remember what the tournament is actually about.

It was never about soccer or development. This World Cup is about turning the thing we love into an instrument of taking resources from a people that needs them badly and creating super profits for Fifa and those connected to it in South Africa.

Soccer has been turned into a shackle to enslave us. Every time we jump up and down and scream in celebration we are tightening the noose around our necks. By being part of the spectacle we also approve and legitimise the criminal misallocation of our resources.

The next edition of New Frank Talk looks at the World Cup beyond the spectacle. We reveal how our government had voluntarily surrendered our country to Fifa. The Bid Book, which was kept a secret for many years, shows what we promised Fifa. It's a blue lie to say Fifa forced South Africa into the guarantees that made sure that the poor wouldn't benefit from the World Cup.

We voluntarily said to Fifa: "Tell us what you want and we shall pay for it!"

Fifa president Sepp Blatter then gave us a list of things he wanted, we obeyed and he came to take the profits. That was the deal!

South Africa agreed to a shocking 17 guarantees that included Fifa not paying any of the usual taxes, that hospital beds would be reserved for some eventuality, that special courts would be set up, that hawkers would be evicted from around the stadiums, etc.

Read together, these guarantees turn our country into a Fifa private property. Germany had only 12 guarantees, Brazil, which is hosting the next World Cup, is giving Fifa only eight.

I struggle to understand what good the World Cup is for. We are paying more than R100billion for this World Cup. We shall pay, our children will pay and those poor rural women will also pay. This is what makes this whole thing so evil.

There are no tangible economic benefits from the World Cup.

The question is, did we have to spend all that money on soccer in a country that allows hundreds of black babies to die because it hasn't invested in healthcare or, as it happened last year, we let the poor go without the life-saving anti-retrovirals because of "budgetary constraints". Or as is the case right now, the budget for land reform is already depleted and projects are on hold because there is no money. And yet we found the money for the World Cup!

In theNew Frank Talkwe look in detail at what was promised and what we are getting.

We look at why we have been pushing for this World Cup when it was clear that the cost of building the stadiums had grown more than 10 times!

I wonder why "watchdogs" such as the media had not warned us about the shocking cost of hosting the World Cup.

Truth remains: we didn't need this World Cup, but then it is hard to stay awake under the seductive noise of the vuvuzela!


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