2010 Soccer World Cup spoils disbursed
THE disbursement of the profits from the 2010 Fifa World Cup began at the weekend with the first R56-million of the money given to a wide array of applicants.
It has, however, emerged that there could have been a lot more money but that around a third of the actual profits from the tournament was spent on vehicles for Safa, including a fleet of luxury Mercedes Benzes for executive committee members.
Danny Jordaan, who chairs the World Cup Legacy Trust formed to protect, nurture and distribute the 2010 monies, launched a spirited defence of the transport purchases, which were made straight after the World Cup and before the R450-million Legacy Fund was announced by President Jacob Zuma and Fifa boss Sepp Blatter in December 2010.
Jordaan said the actual amount of money saved from the World Cup, and due to South Africa, was R700-million, but that R250-million had gone on buying buses, mini-vans and cars for official transport. These had been distributed to the regions where he said the issue of transport for teams was the single biggest problem in football development.
"We will never allow poverty to trap people," Jordaan said of the decision to give vehicles to ferry teams and administrators around.
"Arguments that we must not give buses to regions are out of order, we worked hard to generate the profits in the first place," he thundered.
But his less-convincing defence of the purchase of 26 luxury cars for executive committee members revealed the alarming fact that 50% of Safa's leadership is unemployed, according to Jordaan.
"How do you expect they can get around their regions and see their constituents when they don't have transport?"
The distribution of the remaining R450-million will be a staggered and more controlled affair as the trust's board also includes members from Fifa, civil society and government.
The first tranche of money follows 4347 applications for the funding of various football-related developmental projects.
Jordaan said the board had focused on giving money for the establishment of under-13 and 15 boys' and girls' leagues in the regions, for women's football, indoor football and beach soccer, for capacity building of administration, coaches and referees, to NGOs who use football for development and for education through bursaries.