Fifa Inc kicks strikers off the world cup pitch.

Posted: June 24, 2010 in Satire, The Footie

Ah the World Cup.  You either love it like I do or you hate it but you can’t kill it. But never mind the woes and tantrums of overpaid English and French footballers over the past few days (Sacre bleu! Quelle pantomime!!). I was more interested to see how Fifa Inc dealt with those naughty stewards who had the temerity to protest about their pay . Recruited by a private company, they had been promised £133 or $198 per 12-hour shift only to receive  £17 or $25 per same. So something got lost in translation there or the South African rand mysteriously plummeted in value just in time for the World Cup. 

This isn’t good for the PR image at a time when Fifa Inc and the South African government are determined to prove the doomsayers wrong and put on a successful festival of football. Danny Jordan, chair of the South Africa World Cup organising committee, was no doubt mindful of the good old days when beating up black strikers was the height of apartheid chic but he drew a line under this one: “Although we have respect for workers’ rights, we find it unacceptable for them to disrupt matchday proceedings and will not hesitate to take action in such instances.” This amounts to respect for workers’ rights as long as they are not asserted. 

 As good as his word, our Danny called in the police riot squad to show the ungrateful strikers the red card, using tear gas and batons to hurry  them along when they dragged their feet (no doubt counting down the clock to the final whistle, the time wasters!) This was not only PR overkill but also terribly unjust. Why didn’t they send in the riot squad to deal with the crime against football that was the England v Algeria game (18 June) or the French squad’s one-day training strike last Sunday (20 June)? And why was England’s John Terry allowed so much free airtime to moan about his boss and put his team-mates in the shit? Where was the riot squad then?

You see Danny missed a positive PR trick here. Instead of gassing the stewards or bashing their heads in with the cosh, he could have selected a strikers’ All Stars XI to play the England team. If they beat England, they would be awarded the wage they were promised. For their part, the England squad could go home with their heads held high, accepting that they were well trounced by the better team, and humbly subject themselves to a 30-minute grilling from the fearsome Adrian Chiles…or  more Bleakley, his pal Christine. If the All Stars lost the game, they would go back to work as slaves on a pittance, too embarrassed to strike after having been beaten, thanks to a dodgy penalty, by some of the worst but highest paid players in the tournament. 

Poor Danny. Now he has had to swallow his pride and let the South African police police the tournament instead. Honestly! What’s the World Cup coming to?

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