World Cup: Fifa to rake in billions

World football governing body Fifa expects its provisional income for the 2010 World Cup to be about $3,2-billion (about R24-billion), a spokesperson said on Friday.

The provisional figure was given in reply to a question at a media briefing at Soccer City in Johannesburg.

Spokesperson Nicolas Maingot said the World Cup was the main source of income for Fifa, and its revenue from this World Cup would tide it over for the next four years.

He added that 75% of its revenue would be invested into football development.

The estimate comes after it was reported that South Africa, which spent about R63-billion on hosting the event, has granted Fifa a number of tax concessions.

A Sunday paper reported that the world soccer body would cause the country to lose “tens or possibly hundreds of millions of rands in potential revenue”.

It reported that the South African Revenue Service had been forced to agree to a “tax bubble” around Fifa sites, which would exempt the soccer federation from paying value-added tax, income tax and customs duties.

South Africa reportedly gave Fifa guarantees, including a supportive financial environment by waiving customs duties, taxes and levies on the import and export of goods belonging to the Fifa delegation, its commercial affiliates, broadcast rights holders, media and spectators, and the unrestricted import and export of all foreign currencies into and from South Africa.

The guarantees also included ownership of all media, marketing and intellectual property and that Fifa cannot be sued for claims arising from the staging of the tournament.

Fifa has taken a tough stance against ambush marketing, taking Dutch brewery Bavaria to task after it allegedly orchestrated a campaign at the World Cup match between The Netherlands and Denmark on Monday. Two womwn have already appeared in court on charges related to the South African Merchandise Marks Act.

Industrial action
Meanwhile, local organising committee (LOC) spokesperson Rich Mkhondo would not be drawn on what the extra cost of deploying police officers at various stadiums would be.

This was after security guards at various stadiums downed tools over wages.

He refused to be drawn on the security debacle facing the World Cup stadiums across the country.

“There is a dispute between parties. Once we get involved in a public debate, the issues get escalated,” Mkhondo said.

“We are trying to resolve all these issues ... we are not going to do that publicly.”

Five World Cup stadiums have been hit by industrial action since the commencement of the tournament last Friday.

Initially the strike involved only one service provider, Stallion security. However, guards from the Fidelity Security Company also entered the fray on Thursday.

“In our agenda there are no security issues,” Mkhondo said.

This after the Mail & Guardian on Friday reported that police were investigating claims that sabotage by rival security companies was at the root of the industrial action.

The M&G said it established that the government would have to foot a bill exceeding R100-million to pay the police officers. This expense was “supposedly” covered by Fifa and the LOC, the report said.—Sapa

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