Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Fifa's great South African rip-off

South Africa's City Press is carrying an excellent story (adding to what we blogged recently) with the above title, which looks how FIFA has forced South Africa, a relatively poor African country, to hand over its tax revenues to this non-profit organisation headquartered in the tax haven of Switzerland.

Not only does this offend against all standards of fairness, efficiency (see our blog looking at the "rents" aspect of this) and justice, but the aggressive FIFA wants still more.

Hospital beds, intensive care units, and ambulances have been reserved for FIFA and its foreign visitors. More than R700 million has been spent readying emergency medical services and numerous state-of-the-art medical centres, ambulances and rescue vehicles which have been kept under lock and key for exclusive use during the 30-day tournament.

SAFA (the South African Football Association) has also had to provide FIFA with two private jets, two limousines, 300 cars, half a dozen buses, and “chauffeurs who speak fluent English and are thoroughly familiar with the area”. FIFA has hit paydirt. The money is rolling into its Swiss bank accounts and FIFA secretary-general, Jerome Valcke, boasted this week that “we have increased our income by 50% since 2006 in Germany to 2010 in South Africa”.

Curiously, the story now seems to have disappeared from the City Press website. We will endeavour to find out why.


Blogger James said...

You might wish to have a look at this.

Up until thus far I'd argue that it's worth trying to clean out the Augean stables, but reading the catalogue of corruption (most of it not really tax-related) I am reduced to asking: is the job of bringing FIFA to heel in any way possible?

7:03 am  

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