The Big Fix: How South Africa Stole the 2010 World Cup, by Ray Hartley
In The Big Fix: How South Africa Stole the 2010 World Cup, Ray Hartley reveals the truth about the rotten foundation on which an epic national achievement was built, exposing the people who used the event to amass wealth and power.
'Who could doubt that sport is a crucial window for the propagation of fair play and justice? After all, fair play is a value that is essential to sport.' (Nelson Mandela)
On 27 May 2015, at a luxury hotel in Switzerland, the unthinkable happened. The plush world of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (Fifa) abruptly imploded. In an investigation led by the US Department of Justice, Swiss police officers arrested several top Fifa executives and raided their suites, taking away boxes of documents and computer hard drives in the most serious criminal action ever taken against a sporting body. The indictment before a grand jury in New York named 14 officials involved in an elaborate global web of corruption, kickbacks, bribery and fraud. It detailed how the body that governed the beautiful game had been burrowed hollow from the inside by the worms who occupied several key executive positions. Lucrative media and branding rights for Fifa's major tournaments had been bought with bribes paid through a string of foreign bank accounts in the US, Switzerland and the Caribbean. Officials had feasted on the sale of illicit tickets purloined from the governing body. Presiding over all of this was Fifa's president, Sepp Blatter, a man deemed to be untouchable, who could arrange to see a head of state as easily as if he himself were the head of a major power. Blatter inhabited a world of unsurpassed luxury and privilege, ferried about in limousines from one flattering host to another as he presided over the distribution of the greatest prize in world football - the World Cup. By the end of 2015, Blatter's executive team had been dismantled as, one by one, his loyal lieutenants had been stripped of their powers and given their marching orders. Among them was his closest aide, secretary-general Jerome Valcke. Eventually, in December, Blatter himself fell victim to Fifa's ethics committee and was banished from the organisation's headquarters, in Zurich, from where he had ruled so ruthlessly. Five years before this series of hitherto unimaginable events played out, Fifa had its last hurrah. Between 11 June and 11 July 2010, it held the World Cup tournament in South Africa. And what a last hurrah it would be. When all the marketing spend, sponsorship and ticket sales had been tallied up, Fifa was richer than it had ever been, with over US$4 billion in the bank. Brazil's 2014 spectacle was yet to come, but by then Blatter would be a beaten man and the writing would be on the wall for Fifa's corrupt empire. South Africa, it turned out, had been the perfect host country. Eager to please the world, it had more than bent over backwards for Blatter. Stadiums costing billions of rands had been constructed for the tournament, with little hope that they would ever recoup the money spent, never mind pay for their maintenance without taxpayer support. Huge swathes were cut through South African law as acts and amendments were shuffled through Parliament, exempting Fifa and its sponsors from tax obligations, from foreign currency regulations and even from the local competition law, ensuring that the Fifa entourage would vacuum up every loose dollar on offer before leaving town. The South African people, crazy about football, spent their savings on tickets and thronged to stadiums, ensuring that even the most trivial match between the most inconsequential of teams would be played before a cheering full house. It was a time of national fever. The South African flag was flown from car windows and draped over car mirrors. Office spaces were adorned with strings of multinational flags representing the competing countries. Every Friday, the nation became a sea of yellow as replica jerseys of the national team, Bafana Bafana, were worn. Grave warnings were issued that only official merchandise was to be purchased. [...]
This is an excerpt from The Big Fix: How South Africa Stole the 2010 World Cup, by Ray Hartley.
Title: Ragged Glory
Subtitle: The Rainbow Nation in black and white
Author: Ray Hartley
Publisher: Jonathan Ball Publishers SA
Cape Town; Johannesburg; South Africa, 2016
ISBN 9781868427246 / ISBN 978-1-86842-724-6
Softcover, 15 x 23 cm, 248 pages
Hartley, Ray im Namibiana-Buchangebot
The Big Fix: How South Africa Stole the 2010 World Cup reveals the background of corruption, graft and greed behind the curtains of this event.
Ragged Glory: The Rainbow Nation in black and white is the story of how Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma tried to shape South Africa's destiny in very different ways.