Saturday, May 1, 2010

Corruption in Fifa, South Africa Alleged

I'm not even going to try to do much in the way of synthesizing here.

It's complicated ... it's technical ... I'm not sure how dependable the sources are ... but some or much of what they allege might be true.

Here is the story from the Johannesburg Times on a report/book issued by an entity called the Institute for Security Studies. No, I don't know quite what it is, either. And here is a pdf file from the press conference the group held this week to announce their book/study.

In it ... at least according to the interpretation by the newspaper ... are some fairly hazy charges of corruption involving Fifa and South African officials.

Among them:

--Awarding a company the right to handle accommodations for fans, and seeing that company charge up to "1,000 percent" above normal rates.

--Suggestions that a deal signed with a firm to manage the main stadium for South Africa 2010, Soccer City, will not yield any profit for the city.

--Allegations that the bid to build the stadium in Cape Town was decided by Fifa president Sepp Blatter the day before a meeting was to be held to review the six bids ... and that the winning bid Blatter hand-picked was the most expensive.

The one quotation tied to the story comes from Andrew Jennings, a contributing editor to the book and a professional Blatter-basher, is this one, on 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."

Not sure quite what to make of this. Not much here seems nailed down, to my journalist's way of thinking. But we have enough suspicious stuff going on to make us all wonder how much of this whole World Cup process came together on the up and up.

Go have a look at it yourself. See what you think.
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