The question posed in the title of the post, surely is not the intended result. That is, if you believe everything FIFA and the World Cup organizing committees have said over the the last few years. Economic development! Employment! Increased opportunity! Social mobility! Those were the optimistic rallying cries you heard. Hey, I was one of them, and will continue to echo those thoughts until proven otherwise. But the slightly pessimistic side of me isn’t surprised to read the contents of this BBC article. Due to FIFA’s policing of their brand and the brand of their corporate sponsors, the livelihood of street and stadium vendors have come to a stand still at best and at the other end of the spectrum, has resulted in jail time for some.
The tragic irony is not lost on these vendors. Many were led to believe that with the World Cup would come economic opportunity. Surely many South Africans have been employed in stadium and transportation infrastructure projects. However, for these street and stadium vendors struggling to support their families, the results have not been so rosy. One vendor quoted in the article stated
“I want nothing to do with the World Cup; it has caused me too much pain already,” he says.
“I’ll be happy when this whole thing is over, maybe the police will leave us alone so we can earn a living for our children”.
It will be very interesting to see how FIFA responds to this sort of criticism. And it will be even more interesting to see if a company steps in to address this issue and advocates on behalf of the vendors.
Thanks to @marcopuccia for sending me the link:
To read the full article, click here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8663148.stm