FIFA, South Africa and Corruption

Awarded on 16 Apr 2015

Corruption Watch (RF) NPC

South Africa

Anti-corruption organisations and institutions, Democratic participation and civil society, Support to local and regional NGOs

Grant amount £15,319.56

It would be fair to say that football’s world governing body, FIFA, has had its fair share of problems recently. Recent (‘unproven’ for any lawyers reading) allegations that South Africa’s successful 2010 World Cup bid may have been facilitated by a hefty $10m bribe are but the latest in a string of bad news stories for the organisation. South Africa insists that the $10m payment it made to the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONACAF) was to support development of football in the region and was not intended to sway FIFA members into voting for South Africa. But even the South African sports minister admitted that there was “often a very thin line” between bribery and legacy contributions.

That’s all very well, but you could be forgiven for thinking ‘what’s this got to do with Indigo?’ Thankfully, we haven’t been drafted in to sort out corruption in world football (where would we start?), but what these latest revelations from South Africa do reveal is the pervasive and all-encompassing nature of corruption. As the local chapter of Transparency International, Corruption Watch is more than familiar with the problem of corruption in South Africa and are trying to tackle it, partly through the use of mobile tech. That’s why we have awarded them a grant of £15,320 to support their work, particularly on their Mxit app. Mxit is South Africa’s home-grown social network and currently has some 7.4 million active monthly users. Corruption Watch use the network to inform followers of their work and ask citizens to submit incidents of corruption. Because many of Mxit’s users are young and come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, Mxit provides Corruption Watch with a perfect way of reaching people who may lack access to smartphones or computers. As such, it’s the perfect vehicle for engaging an oft overlooked demographic.