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World Cup related research, analysis & news


Chapter 2: Economic Promises and Pitfalls of South Africa’s World Cup
Patrick Bond & Eddie Cottle

Afterword:World Cup profits defeat the poor
Patrick Bond, Ashwin Desai and Brij Maharaj

Films & other Multimedia about the 2010 World Cup

With the media's gaze fixed on the soccer World Cup, Chomsky Allstars’ new single throws a harsh spotlight on South Africa's attempts to 'beautify' the country in the run-up to the tournament.

Blending punk, blues, dub and Afrobeat, 'The Beautiful Gain', with its infectious melody and sublime rhythms, is set to become the 'Free Nelson Mandela' of the 21st century.
Hiphop anti-capitalist anti-Fifa anthem Shame on the Game by UKZN's own Ewok:
Trademark 2010
Long slice of Trademark 2010 (about Fifa's monopoly)
Susan Galleymore's latest internet show: Raising Sands, including Ewok's music and a long interview with Patrick Bond

Dedicated to the memory of SA’s greatest political economist of sport, Dennis Brutus (1924-2009) Robben Island veteran; critic of corporate athletics; organiser of 1960s Olympic Boycott of white South Africa, expulsion of white SA from Fifa in 1976, and 1970s-80s cricket, rugby and tennis anti-apartheid campaigns; leading poet and literary scholar; global justice movement strategist; and at time of death, UKZN Centre for Civil Society Honorary Professor

Under Fifa's thumb: What Mike Sutcliffe signed Durban up for

Under Fifa's thumb: What Danny Jordaan and Irvin Khoza signed SA up for:
Fifa agreement with SA 1
Fifa Organising Association Agreement
Fifa agreement with SA 1

Memorandum Of Grievances TO: KZN Premier Zweli Mkhize, Durban Mayor Obed Mlaba, Deputy Mayor Logie Naidoo and Durban City Manager Michael Sutcliffe RE: Grievances about World Cup 2010 management.

FIFA’s Gordion Knot: What will the World Cup leave behind for South Africans?
Khadija Sharife

South Africa’s 2010 World Cup “feel good” factor is addictive. At taxi ranks, street bazaars and tea-rooms, South African citizens everywhere are filled with elation - and pride. Just 16 years ago, within living memory, non-white South Africans were deprived of basic human rights by the brutal apartheid regime.

From stadiums - completed in advance to fulfill FIFA’s insistence on a six-month “buffer zone,” to airports and other infrastructure, South Africa has fulfilled FIFA’s requirements to the tee.

The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) has also paced expenditure concerning the FIFA approved budget of $423 million, having used just 32 percent by mid-April.

For the Love of the Game
Khadija Sharife

It was said that South Africa’s idea to bid for the World Cup was ridiculous.

“Does Africa have the resources to stage an event of such enormity they asked?,” said Chairman Irvin Kohoza of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Local Organizing Committee (LOC) South Africa.

South Africa’s decade-long preparation - and dream to host the 2006 World Cup began in 1994: the seed was initially planted in the mind of South African Football Association (SAFA) President Stix Morewa, on his return from the 1994 World Cup hosted by the United States, followed by Morewa’s letter to FIFA stating the same. But one decade of preparation appeared in vain when Oceania official Charles Dempsey abstained from voting, leading to Germany’s one point victory over South Africa.

According to Khoza, on returning to South Africa to the home of then-South African President

Nelson Mandela, they were commanded, “Boys, go and fight back.”

World Cup News Also visit our Newspage

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Durban’s disappearing street kids and the World Cup

World Cup Analysis. Also visit our Analysis Page

The World Cup Losers: The other side of the sporting event
Joan Canela Barrull 13 July 2010

At the gate stands a small security outpost where they ask where you are going. “I have a meeting with the Bishop”. “One moment”, replies the makeshift guard, before checking a list to ensure a journalist is scheduled to arrive. The Johannesburg Methodist Church is a monumental edifice built to demonstrate the church’s glory and might in the very heart of the city’s business district. Yet today, its size is being used for alternate purposes, with room to provide shelter for up to 2,000 African refugees who Bishop Paul Verryn has taken under his wing. The majority hail from Zimbabwe, although people from other countries, such as the Congo, Rwanda, Sudan and Somalia, are also present.

When ‘Phansi Fifa, phansi’ is forbidden speech

Patrick Bond (The Mercury Eye on Civil Society for publication, 6 July 2010)

Police detention while exercising freedom of expression at our favourite Durban venue - the wonderful South Beach Fan Fest - on the weekend, followed by (taped) discussions with police, together leave me worried. They should worry you, too.

Football spectacular that will bring little to celebrate to its people
Oliver Meth and Daniel Moshenberg 10 July 2010

Ever since South Africa won the bid to host the 2010 Fifa World Cup, the
government has been feeding us promises and creating expectations about
how good this is for the country, for the economy and for the workers
and poor. We were told that it would create jobs, that the tourism it
attracts would generate large amounts of money that could be invested in
service delivery and development.

South Africa’s Bubble Meets Boiling Urban Social Protest
Patrick Bond 9 June 2010

As the June-July 2010 World Cup draws the world’s attention to South Africa, the country’s poor and working-class people will continue protesting, at what is now among the highest rates per person in the world. Since 2005, the police have conservatively measured an annual average of more than eight thousand “Gatherings Act” incidents (public demonstrations legally defined as involving upwards of fifteen demonstrators) by an angry urban populace, which remains unintimidated by the year-old government of Jacob Zuma. This general urban uprising has included resistance to the commodification of life—e.g., commercialization of municipal services—and to rising poverty and inequality in the country’s slums.1

South African soccer: For the love of the game or for the love of money and power?
Dale T. McKinley 7 June 2010

The sun has almost set on the Soccer World Cup and its seeming suspension of our South African ‘normalcy’. No doubt, many will try their best to continue to bask in its positively proclaimed ‘developmental legacy’; but, as sure as the sun will rise on the morning after, so too will the reality of that ‘normalcy’ bite us like an unhappy dog. Nowhere will this be more apparent than in the world of South African soccer itself.

After the pixie-dust
It's time South Africa looked at the real issues like social stresses and the blood diamond trade in Zimbabwe
Patrick Bond The Mercury 23 June 2010

No matter how hard we cheered last night, the demise of Bafana Bafana's
campaign will at least blow away much pixie-dust from the World Cup.

Today our eyes are left clearer to comprehend problems that
soccer-loving cynics have long predicted: loss of large chunks of state
sovereignty to Fifa, massively amplified income inequality, and future
economic calamities as debt payments come due - and perhaps soon also

Argentina’s Soccer Passion
Marie Trigona 21 June 2010

An old article, but still relevant.
The world cup is here. Until July 9th 2006, 32 national teams will play for the Word Cup title. It is estimated that the World cup will draw five billion viewers world wide. Argentina is no exception to the frenzy. South Americans are the wildest about their soccer, with the highest TV ratings. Argentina’s passion for soccer is a cultural mainstay and part of national identity regardless of class backgrounds.

World Cup, Inc. Red Cards for Fifa, Coke and South African Elites
Patrick Bond 16 June 2010

The World Cup™ began with the home team drawing Mexico 1-1 on Friday at
Johannesburg’s Soccer City stadium, with the US and England playing to
the same score the following night, two hours west, next door to the
infamous Sun City resort. Only injury-ridden Germany really stood out on
the first weekend, thrashing Australia 4-0 here in Durban.

“At least under Apartheid…..” South Africa on the Eve of the World Cup
Dave Zirin

At long last, soccer fans, the moment is here. On Friday, when South
Africa takes the field against Mexico, the World Cup will officially be
underway. Nothing attracts the global gaze quite like it. Nothing
creates such an undeniably electric atmosphere with enough energy to put
British Petroleum, Exxon/Mobil and Chevron out of business for good.

And finally, after 80 years, the World Cup has come to Africa.

Six red cards for Fifa
It is not too late for South Africa to take back some of its sovereignty
Patrick Bond, Eye on Civil Society column (The Mercury) 8 June 2010

Could a last-minute U-turn reverse egregious mistakes that our national
and municipal governments are making, apparently under the thumb of the
Fédération Internationale de Football Association (Fifa)?

Fifa's great SA rip-off
Julian Rademeyer, Chandre Prince and Anna-Maria Lombard (City Press) 8 June 2010

For the next five weeks get used to Sepp Blatter being your president
and Jacob Zuma sitting on the bench as a bit-player whose government is
legally bound to perform the international football federation’s every

Fifa’s grip on South Africa was cemented with 17 key guarantees the
government had to agree to in order to host the world’s biggest sporting

Fifa hydra hoovers up World Cup benefits Officials and government have sold South Africa down the river, but now the 'suckers' are responding angrily to being ripped off
Patrick Bond The Mercury Eye on Civil Society 25 May 2010

Watching World Cup preparations roil this society is like picking up a
large stone in a neglected garden, under which a myriad of mainly
parasitical lifeforms jostle, breaking from maniacal feeding upon one
another so as to scramble from the harsh sunlight.

The dominant creature is, of course, the Fédération Internationale de
Football Association, Fifa, and it is so far eating everything in sight.

The party may not be worth the hangover
Patrick Bond The Mercury (Eye on Civil Society)
11 May 2010

Of course, South Africa will have the party of our (post-April 1994) lives, a month from today, and of course it is a huge honour to host the most important sporting spectacle short of the Olympics.

And all the ordinary people who have worked so hard deserve gratitude and support, especially the construction workers, cleaners, municipal staff, health-care givers and volunteers who will not receive due recognition.

But let us also be frank about balancing psychological benefits against vast socio-economic and political costs, for we will hear about the latter from plenty of others, who will see us at our best and worst.

Durban’s worst face is usually to be found at city hall, where time and time again, municipal manager Michael Sutcliffe bans community protests, compelling urgent court interdicts against his vicious police.

(Bond directs the UKZN Centre for Civil Society.)

Soccer is the Opium of the People
Timothy Bancroft Hinchey 20 May 2010

I shall not be watching one single game of soccer during this World Cup. Soccer has moved from the noble sport, to a means of mass communication, to a sinister control mechanism which hides a Pandora’s box of weird and wonderful financial deals and personal favours. While the people are fed a carefully controlled adrenalin fix drip by drip they are not thinking about serious things. Keep them stupid and control them.

I used to enjoy soccer. I used to enjoy playing it, I used to enjoy speaking about it. Nothing felt better than sending the ball screaming into the top corner of the goal from 30 yards out, nothing more cosy than the get-together after the match with the rest of the team.,40,5,2048

South Africa's World Cup is a disgrace
Chris Rodrigues in The Guardian May 14 2010

Examine the latest available Human Development Index (HDI) figures – a measure of education, life expectancy and standard of living – and you will find that the 2010 World Cup hosts are ranked 129 out of 182 UN member states. Or a whole 19 places below both Gaza and the West Bank. The effect of the blockade of the former is not yet included in the retrospective reports but the discrepancy between South Africa's GDP and HDI makes it, as its Gini coefficient score also reveals, the most unequal country on the planet.

South Africa wins the World Cup... of inequality
Sheri Hamilton, Weizmann Hamilton and Liv Shange 11 May 2010

Let them eat cake - the ugly backdrop to the beautiful game
Nothing symbolises more graphically the ugliness that forms the backdrop to the beautiful game than all the scandals, corruption and greed surrounding the mega event on which the entire world’s media is focused – the 2010 World Cup. The first to be held on the African continent, it is being presented as an opportunity to contribute to the development of sport and the economy. Through amongst others, “football Fridays” (when the national anthem should be sung by all and the national football jersey worn), and the special “diski” World Cup dance, it will brighten up the fading colours of the “Rainbow Nation”, boost “nation building”, provide redress for historical injustices, create jobs and help SA escape the effects of the global recession and kickstart economic recovery – a panacea for all social and economic ills.

Durban’s sleaze now more visible to the world than even elegant Mabhida
Patrick Bond The Mercury Eye on Civil Society
27 April 2010

Celebrating the 16th anniversary of freedom requires us to pause and
consider why South Africa’s maldevelopment and worsening inequality are
generating community protests with the ferocity of the anti-apartheid era.

Within six weeks, national and international observers will find it
child’s play to attack Durban’s city fathers – and by extension, we in
civil society, for letting them get away with it – because of our most
visible urban assets, what professionals call ‘the built environment.’

World Cup woes for South Africa
Ashwin Desai and Patrick Bond (Forthcoming in Red Pepper, May-June 2010)

World Cup visitors will not fail to comment upon degenerate conditions
in the Cape Flats and the Soweto shacklands, while in contrast, the new
£380 million Green Point stadium in Cape Town and £300 million
refurbished Soccer City in Johannesburg get vast subsidies thanks to
rulers from both the white-liberal-dominated Democratic Alliance and the
black-nationalist African National Congress, respectively.

Why Sharks Should Not Own Sport
John Pilger 23 April 2010

As Tiger Woods returns to golf, not all his affairs are salacious headlines. In Dubai, the Tiger Woods Golf Course in Dubai is costing $100million to build. Dubai relies on cheap third world labor, as do certain consumer brands that have helped make Woods a billionaire. Nike workers in Thailand wrote to Woods, expressing their “utmost respect for your skill and perseverance as an athlete” but pointing out that they would need to work 72,000 years “to receive what you will earn from [your Nike] contract”.

What World Cup South Africa really means
Azad Essa & Oliver Meth 13 March 2010

THE World Cup might be just around the corner, and excitement for the
first event of its kind on African soil is rapidly gaining momentum, but
ordinary South Africans are finding it increasingly difficult to ignore
the darker side of playing host to the greatest show on Earth.

Pro-sports, Anti-Olympics: Reclaiming the games, From the Games
Tyler Shipley 22 February 2010

One of the first photographs I ever posed for was of my dad and me skating on our frozen backyard in Winnipeg. I wasn't even a year old but I was already engaged in an activity that would frame my moral and ideological compass for the better part of three decades (and counting.) Hockey has given me community – even as it has been used to legitimate politics that destroy communities. Hockey taught me values like teamwork and commitment – even as it reinforced values that perpetuate sexism, heterosexism and racism. And in perhaps the greatest irony of them all, hockey saved my life – even as it has been a vehicle for the propaganda that justifies our savage occupation of Afghanistan that continues to take so many lives.

When Snow Melts: Vancouver’s Olympic Crackdown
Dave Zirin 11 February 2010

News Flash: Winter Olympic officials in tropical Vancouver have been forced to import snow - on the public dime - to make sure that the 2010 games proceed as planned. This use of tax-dollars is just the icing on the cake for increasingly angry Vancouver residents. And unlike the snow, the anger shows no signs of abating. As Olympic Resistance Network organizer Harsha Walia wrote in the Vancouver Sun, With massive cost over-runs and Olympic project bailouts, it is not surprising that a November 2009 Angus Reid poll found that more than 30 per cent of [British Columbia] residents feel the Olympics will have a negative impact and almost 40 per cent support protesters. A January 2010 EKOS poll found that almost 70 per cent believe that too much is being spent on the Games.

More Articles

Research Papers

Patrick Bond
Political Economy of the World Cup

Collette Schulz Herzenberg, Rob Rose, Eddie Botha, Gcina Ntsaluba, Andrew Jennings, Karen Schoonbee, Stefaans Brümmer, Sam Sole
Edited by Collette Schulz Herzenberg
Player and referee Conflicting interests and the 2010
FIFA World Cup

Ashwin Desai, Ahamed Veriava, Zyen, Nabbi, Dale T McKinley, Prishani, Naidoo, Zanele Huholi, Justin van der Merwe, Goolam Vahed,
Edited by Ashwin Desai,
The Race to Transform: Sport in Post Apartheid South Africa

Justin van der Merwe, Eusebius Mckaiser, David Marrs, Marlise Richter, Anton Cartwright,
Editors: Dr Antonie Katharina Nord
and Jochen Luckscheiter
Published by the Heinrich Böll Foundation
South Africa and the 2010 World Cup

Snyman Ohlhoff Lecturer: Department of Tourism and Events Management
Cape Peninsula University of Technology
Evaluating the Economic Impact of the 2010 FIFA
World Cup from a Financial Investment point of view

Building & Wood Workers International -BWI
2010 World Cup & the Construction Sector

Older material from the CCS Online Library

Bond, Patrick (2010) Super stadiums vs safe shelter and sewerage.

Meth Oliver (2010) No World Cup fun and games for some. The Mercury (Eye on Civil Society column) More

Meth, Oliver (2008) South Africa will risk hosting 2010 . Centre for Civil Society More

Ngonyama, Percy (2007) The “resounding success” of 2010 depends entirely on further exploitation of the downtrodden.

Sufian Hemed Bukurura (2006) Public should have been consulted for 2010. Centre for Civil Society More

Jones, Steve (2006) The World Cup - Who's Cashing In? . In Defense of Marxism More

Ngonyama, Percy (2006) Hidden agendas: What government and big business do not want you to know . Centre for Civil Society More

Ngonyama, Percy (2004) Hidden Agendas: What government and big business do not want you to know about South Africa’s bid for the Soccer World Cup . Centre for Civil Society More

 Center for Citizenship, Democratic Participation and Civil Society 
 Australian-Venezuelan solidarity brigade 
 The Conversation 
 Latin America Activism  
 groundWork (Pietermaritzburg) 
 Focus on the Global South 
 Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa 
 Miranda International Centre 
  Global Exchange 
 Pambazuka News 
 TransNational Institute 
 International Development Economics Associates 
 Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Research Centre 
 University of Mauritius Department of Social Development 
 SA National Energy Research Institute; 
 Diakonia Council of Churches 
 Institute for Social and Economic Research 
 International Labour Research and Information Group 
 Brazilian Institute for Social and Economic Research 
 El Colegio de Mexico 
 University of Alberta Parkland Institute 
 University of Ottawa 
 Michigan State University African Studies Center 
 Center for Democracy and Civil Society 
 London: School of Oriental and African Studies 
 University of Bologna 
 Free University of Berlin Department of Political Science 
 Rosa Luxemburg Foundation 
 Central European University Department of Sociology 

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