Rooting for the Home Team

President Blatter and FIFA, can we count on you?

Today is a big day for football, aka soccer. National teams across the globe are competing to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Thousands of people in Brazil are also wondering today, “will my community still exist when the World Cup comes to town?” We sure hope so. And that is why we are posing this question to FIFA and its president Joseph “Sepp” Blatter, “can we count on you to prevent this displacement?” With so much influence in the process and a mission of social responsibility and having positive impacts on society, we know FIFA can prepare for the Cup without destroying communities and moving residents out of site.

Please join us in posing this question via twitter! Here are some sample tweets to get started: 

Communities in Brazil are at risk of displacement ahead of #WorldCup. @SeppBlatter can we count on u to prevent this?

Communities in Brazil are at risk of displacement ahead of #WorldCup. @FIFAcom can we count on u to prevent this?

Brazil communities at risk of displacement ahead of #WorldCup. @SeppBlatter @FIFAcom can we count on u to prevent this?

.@SeppBlatter Pls work with Gov’t of Brazil to prevent displacement ahead of 2014 #FIFA #WorldCup #hometeambrazil

.@FIFAcom Pls work with Gov’t of Brazil to prevent displacement ahead of 2014 #FIFA #WorldCup #hometeambrazil

Be sure to follow @Rooting4Home and #hometeambrazil for updates!

For the Home Team,


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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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Havelange leaves IOC just days before hearing

Joao Havelange has resigned from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) just days before an ethics commission was due to deliver their findings on allegations he received bribes when FIFA president.

With his resignation the investigation is likely to be dropped on the  grounds that the committee no longer have jurisdiction over him.

Fifa also confirmed Havelange’s resignation adding: “Fifa has taken note of Joao Havelange’s resignation as IOC member and the fact that the IOC has closed the case accordingly.”

The 95-year-old  was the IOC’s longest-serving member having joined in 1963. He served as Fifa president between 1974 and 1978, before he was replaced by Sepp Blatter.

Two other IOC members, International Association of Athletics Federations president Lamine Diack and Issa Hayatou, president of the Confederation of African Football, will have their cases considered by the committee on Thursday.

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.

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.