Fifa World Cup 2010: Once more the BBC broadcasts falsehoods
What the media says
ANC Today, South Africa, May 4-10, 2007
THIS is the fourth time this year and the fourth during the life of this journal that once again we comment on a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) report about our country. The last time we did this was in ANC Today, Vol 7 No 10, when we wrote about how the BBC discovered large anti-crime demonstrations in our country that had never taken place.
The BBC has been at it again, once again broadcasting deliberate falsehoods about our country. This time it has discovered that "Fifa makes 2010 Cup back-up plan". The BBC reported that, "Football's governing body has contingency plans in case South Africa cannot host the World Cup in 2010, Fifa president Sepp Blatter has said."
"South Africa's preparations have been dogged by delays and there are fears its stadia will not be ready. Blatter told BBC One's new Inside Sport programme: 'Other countries are ready to organise the World Cup', although he said they would not be needed. Blatter cited a list of countries that could step in, including England. The others he mentioned were the United States, Mexico, Japan and Spain. 'Definitely we have a possibility to go somewhere else if something happens,' said Blatter."
The BBC went on to report that, "Last year, Blatter expressed misgivings about the lack of construction and renovation work on the 10 South African stadiums that are scheduled to host games in the World Cup."
It is true that the BBC spoke to FIFA President Sepp Blatter. It is entirely untrue that FIFA has contingency plans in case South Africa cannot host the World Cup in 2010. Indeed President Blatter said specifically there was no contingency plan, saying Plan A was South Africa, and Plan B was South Africa, and there was no need for any other plans.
But as the BBC itself reported, President Blatter said the 2010 tournament would only be moved out of South Africa if, for instance, there was a natural catastrophe. In this regard, the BBC quoted President Blatter as having said: "It was the same case in Germany. Something can happen. A natural catastrophe or whatever, a big change in society - everybody against football."
If our stadiums and our cities were destroyed as a result of a volcanic eruption, for instance, or, for some reason, the fifty million South Africans decided that they hate football and do not want our country to host the 2010 tournament, obviously the tournament would have to be moved to another country.
It is entirely on the basis of these far-fetched possibilities that the BBC invented a dramatic story that football's governing body has contingency plans in case South Africa cannot host the World Cup in 2010.
In this context, President Blatter mentioned a random group of countries that could host the 2010 Soccer World Cup in the unlikely event that our country suffers from a natural catastrophe, etc.
To sustain the lie it was determined to communicate, the BBC nevertheless went so far as to ask the English Football Association (FA) if it had been approached by FIFA to host the 2010 tournament.
The BBC reported that, "The Football Association said they had not been involved with any plans for the tournament to move to England . 'There have been no discussions with Fifa at this stage,' a spokesman told BBC Sport. 'We do believe we have some of the finest stadia and football infrastructure in the world but it's hypothetical as we understand South Africa are on course to stage the 2010 World Cup.'"
Of course, the English Football Association was perfectly correct. South Africa is on course to stage the 2010 World Cup. FIFA had and has no need to approach the English or any other football association to hold itself in readiness to host the 2010 World Cup, and has not approached any country in this regard.
Nevertheless, despite what it was told truthfully by the English FA, the BBC remained determined to propagate the lie about contingency plans in case we fail properly to prepare for the World Cup.
It therefore told the outright lie that "South Africa's preparations have been dogged by delays and there are fears its stadia will not be ready". To add insult to injury it made the entirely false allegation that last year President Blatter expressed misgivings about the lack of construction and renovation work on the 10 South African stadiums that are scheduled to host games in the World Cup.
The truth is that last year, repeatedly, President Blatter made it a point to say, publicly, that South Africa was breaking new ground in terms of meeting its commitments to FIFA ahead of schedule.
Once again we cannot avoid the conclusion that the BBC finds itself driven to tell lies about our country because it cannot persuade itself to accept that as Africans we are not sub-human and are perfectly capable of achieving everything that other human beings can achieve.
Despite the wishes and the propaganda of the BBC, our country will host a successful 2010 Soccer World Cup. As the English FA said, our preparations in this regard are very much on course.
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