I can think of a few things FIFA stands for!

So another FIFA World Cup is upon us.  Since the last one in 2006 the salaries of players have, yet again, been far ahead of inflation, despite a Global Financial Crisis.  Some of the teams taking place will have salaries amounting to the GDP of modest sized cities in the Third World, some of them cities where games will be taking place in 2010. 

Does this logo look like the people of Africa tipping backwards under the weight of the world's soccer hubris?

Soccer players are earning stratospheric amounts of money to play what amounts to little more than a game.  Sport has become an industry that revolves around an elite that were either born with a physical talent or have found clever ways to mask the various methods of enhancement. 

What really matters is the promotion of logos and slogans that large corporations can emblazon in every corner or stitch of fabric that is touched by the lens of a television camera.  

I juxtapose this against friends of mine that work in the not-for-profit sector to make a difference in the world. 

For instance, take the example of a good friend who works for Opportunity International, an organisation that works on the micro-economic principle of giving the under-privileged a start in business through no or low-interest loans as well as business training – a tangible way of breaking the cycle of poverty through effort and industry.

Yet for some reason the ‘heroes’ that receive the lavish attention and praise are those in the sporting arenas whilst in the past few weeks the not-for-profit sector has been subjected to skiting about the “unaccountability” of their sector (with scant attention paid to the work this sector is doing in the wider community). 

So we celebrate the obscene salaries given to sportspeople for little more than the ability to chase a bit of leather or swing a bat and turn a blind eye to the slurs and aspersions cast upon people who make huge sacrifices to make the world a better place? 

What is obvious is that vast amounts of money are funnelled through the sports industry with most of it frittered away on providing obscene wealth to a select few. 

Can sport boast of a genuine benefit to mankind beyond entertainment, distraction and the temporary surge of adrenalin and emotional high? 

What does it really matter who wins the World Cup this year if it makes little quantifiable difference to the population of Africa where it is being played?  Will the World Cup address the 30-50% of the population expected to succumb to AIDS?  Will it end tyranny in neighbouring Zimbabwe, or elsewhere? 

Or will it be left to the not-for-profits and NGOs to pick up the pieces in Africa after the gravy train has rolled on?

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