Brazil must have booze at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. But what about Qatar 2022?

FIFA’s general secretary, Jerome Valcke, paid a visit to Brazil where he made clear the football authority’s position: “Alcoholic drinks are a part of the FIFA World Cup, so we’re going to have them. Excuse me if I sound a bit arrogant, but that’s something that we won’t negotiate.”

His comments could well be taken as inflammatory, if not just arrogant, since Brazil has held a policy of prohibition at football stadiums since 2003 in an effort to reduce violence. The fact that Budweiser is a long-term sponsor of FIFA has no doubt some small bearing on this decision-making.

While alcohol can currently be consumed legally in Qatar, there are restrictions. Alcohol can be purchased in a few clubs, bars, certain hotel restaurants; however, to consume alcohol in one’s own home a special license is required. The question of whether the consumption of alcohol will be permitted to in additional areas and at the games themselves has been asked. Hassan Abdulla al Thawadi, chief executive of the Qatar 2022 World Cup bid, has said the Muslim state would also permit alcohol consumption during the World Cup. A few specific fan-zones will be set up during the event, they will provide alcohol for sale.

If FIFA are willing to negotiate a few specific fan zones with Qatar, why is there no negotiation in Brazil? It is difficult to believe that any of these decisions were made outside of the bribery and corruption that seem endemic to FIFA. Jerome Valcke was accused in 2011 of letting slip that Qatar ‘bought’ its place as host in 2022, so perhaps Brazil should have bought their right to host the World Cup at a higher price and saved themselves some trouble.

 

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MI5 implicated in new torture allegations

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The British intelligence services have been implicated in fresh allegations of torture, the Guardian has revealed.

In spite of promises from the government to investigate the complicity of the Intelligence services in the use of torture against terror suspects, it is alleged that MI5 was involved in a case of  ‘rendition’ as late as July last year. Omar Awadh, a Kenyan businessman, was secretly captured and deported to Uganda (a practice referred to as ‘rendition’) in the wake of the July 2010 bombings in Kampala. He was subsequently held in prison where he claims that he was tortured by local security officials and interrogated by officers from MI5 and the FBI.

Previously, detainees from Guantanamo such as Omar Deghayes, have claimed that they were questioned by British intelligence officials during their time in detention. In July 2010, shortly before the bombings that lead to Awadh’s arrest, David Cameron announced plans for an inquiry into the complicity of MI5 in the outsourcing of torture to other countries and promised compensation if it was confirmed that British Intelligence had permitted the torture of UK citizens.

Although Mr Cameron was keen to investigate human rights breaches committed under the last government, he has yet to respond to the latest torture allegations in the Guardian.

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Final result: Fifa Won. South Africa Sweet FA

Mnikelo talking

The 2010 World Cup has generated $3.3bn in revenue for Fifa but for grassroots football in South Africa only 27 artificial pitches. Final result Fifa won. South Africa Sweet FA.

Click here to watch the video to hear what Abahlali baseMjondolo, the South African shackdwellers’ movement, have to say about the negative effects of the 2010 World Cup on South Africans.

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South Africa 2010 and Ambush Marketing

It’s not long now before the World Cup fanfare begins but for local independent tradesman it’s the long, boring drone of contradiction that’s ringing around what is supposedly intended to be their most lucrative opportunity for years. The mantra that’s pumped out before major nomadic sports events is that smaller businesses will benefit from the influx of tourists, but in reality they can’t pay up the prerequisite sponsor fees demanded by the sports governing bodies, so they’re unable to compete with the event’s major sponsors and unceremoniously kicked 25893144299999 miles away from the stadium in question.

When independent tradesmen and entrepreneurs do try to get amongst the action, they’re quickly attacked with flimsy legislation like ‘ambush marketing’, like the recent case of Grant Abrahamse. He registered his football key ring back in 2004 but is now being taken to court by FIFA (who’s account has already ballooned by more than R23 billion). The ruling, if upheld, essentially means that any independent traders wishing to use words like ‘soccer’ or even the year ‘2010’ could also risk being sued. In comparison to the 3,700 cases during the previous event in Germany in 2006, there have been over 50,000 in South Africa. We have already begun to see the same shoots of this story growing in the preparation for London 2012. (more about London 2012 can be found on our London 2012 Olympics blog or the Spectacle London 2012 Olympics project page)

Despite promises to the contrary, Abrahamse’s case, which you can watch in more detail below (source, 2010 World Cup FIFA sue Grant Abrahamse), demonstrates that FIFA and co are the exclusive beneficiaries for South Africa 2010.

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World Cup effect on South africa

Mnikelo talking

Mnikelo talking

In may 2004, South Africa became the first African nation to be nominated to host a football World Cup. Following that announcement, South African’s were overwhelmed by the prospect of much needed development and new business opportunities.

Since then, a lot (mainly the poorest) have been evicted or resettled  as the government try to show a “clean” image of South Africa to the world.

Spectacle has recently uploaded and interview with Mnikelo and Zodwa from Abahlali baseMjondolo, the South African shackdwellers’ movement, talking about the negative effects of the 2010 World Cup on South Africans. This can be viewed on the Spectacle archive page (World Cup, South Africa) and was filmed in connection with the London Olympics 2012 and the recurring effect of mega sporting event.

Mnikelo’s interview gives an insight into the World Cup backstage and its effect on the host nation.

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