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South Africa no longer deserves to host 2010 World Cup

  • 16 April 2007

South Africa has forfeited the right to stage the 2010 football World Cup. By supporting and sustaining the holocaust unfolding in Zimbabwe, the Government has aligned itself with the ranks of evil. It is one thing to refuse to intervene when cruelty is rife in a neighbouring country, quite another to fuel it with sympathetic words, pathetic policies and required resources. President Mbeki has repeatedly defended his friend in Zimbabwe at international meetings and before his electorate.

Doubtless he is protecting his left flank, but his refusal to condemn Mugabe's murderous regime and willingness to supply it with free electricity, fuel and food used for political purposes paints him as either a knave or a fool. At best he has fallen under the spell of a cunning man prepared to kill every enemy and to destroy the country in his charge in order to sustain his invidious regime.

It is inconceivable that a prestigious football event can be held in a country that holds hands with wickedness, a country trying to turn back the human tide of misery that pours in every day from Zimbabwe, risking the crocodiles in the Limpopo and the guards at Beit bridge, in a desperate attempt not so much to find a better life as to survive another week. Nor are these refugees merely the flotsam and jetsam of a floundering nation. Many of them are teachers, bankers and other professionals reduced to despair by an engineered economic collapse. Meanwhile the African National Congress (ANC) claims it cannot interfere in the affairs of another state, an opinion that thankfully does not extend to Darfur or the Democratic Republic of Congo. Everyone pretends that recent elections in Zimbabwe were legitimate. Of course it is a lie.

Nor is there any sign of improvement. Last week Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) said that it supported the government and people of Zimbabwe. Astonishingly the 'leaders' concerned managed to keep a straight face whilst uttering these oxymoronic words. The Zimbabewean government and people have been at war for 6 years. Mbeki was appointed as mediator between the SADC and Zanu PF. It is an astonishing choice. Mugabe has been running rings around him for years.

Accordingly Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has no choice but to find a new location for the tournament. Some argue that sport and politics must be kept apart, holding them partly responsbile for the