The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
The Forum - On Line Opinion's article discussion area



Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

Main Articles General

Sign In      Register

The Forum > Article Comments > South Africa no longer deserves to host 2010 World Cup > Comments

South Africa no longer deserves to host 2010 World Cup : Comments

By Peter Roebuck, published 20/4/2007

It is inconceivable that a prestigious football event can be held in a country that holds hands with the wickedness of President Mugabe

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. All
I absolutely agree that what's happening in Zimbabwe is extremely disturbing and distressing, and Mugabe is yet another tragic example (if we needed one) of how well-meaning revolutionary leaders can degenerate over time into paranoid dicatators.

That said, I would also question - to the extent that comparisons are useful in this sort of circumstanc - whether the human rights situation in Zimbabwe right now is any worse than what is happening in fifty other countries around the world which are not clothed in the vestiges of English colonialism that still tend viscerally to evoke the Anglophilic nostalgia of the residents of many Commonwealth countries.

But to say that South Africa should have the World Cup taken away from it for failing to put sufficient pressure on Mugabe is surely an absurd proposition. You might as well have called for us to have the Commonwealth Games taken away from us because of the law and order problems and other abuses in the Solomon Islands and East Timor.

Zimbabwe is a sovereign state, not a province of South Africa. South Africa is extremely reluctant to intervene other at a diplomatic level. Not only would Mbeki upset the large element in his constituency who blindly support Mugabe simply because he is hard on the Whites of Zimbabwe, but - much more importantly - he would be faced with the potential of having total responsibility for the forseeable future for all of Zimbabwe's problems on top of his own enormous ones. I doubt very much - no matter what the media often seems to suggest - that the problems of the Zimbabwean polity, economy and society are solely the responsibility of one man's maleficance and can be solved simply by reversing the decisions to relieve White farmers of their land.

Given how often people protest and demand sanctions against the US and other countries for unjustly intervening in the affairs of sovereign states (eg, Iraq, to take an obvious example) it would be ironic indeed if sanctions were imposed against South Africa for failing to take such a course of action.
Posted by meher baba, Friday, 20 April 2007 10:00:03 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Mbeke has been a disappointment in his denial of hiv being the virus responsible for the AIDS epandemic that has killed tens of thousands in Southern Africa.

He is an extremely conservative politician who is coming to the end of his term as president, a term of wasted opportunities. Let's hope his successor takes a principled stand and allocates significant funding to effectively fight AIDS. The new president could do this by stopping wasteful and unethical support to Mugabe. Zimbabwians also need moral and logistical support from all quarters around the world to evict this tyrant.

Having said that, Africa needs investment and tourism. The world cup deserves to be held for the first time in an African country. South Africa has the facilities to successfully host the World Cup. It's overdue in this continent and should not be cancelled or transferred.

South Africa does have a consitution that has been instrumental in introducing laws for Civil Unions for gays and lesbians. That is more than can be said for Howard's position against a bill of rights in general and civil unions in particular.

Unfortunately no African leaders have dared to speak up against Mugabe, lest their own domestic human rights records are put under the spotlight at home and abroad.

Advocacy for human rights in Zimbabwe needs to be taken to the UN Security Council for debate on Mugabe's crimes against humanity. He needs to be brought before the International Court of Criminal Justice and arrested whenever he steps outside of Zimbabwe. Who is up to that? Australia?
Posted by Quick response, Friday, 20 April 2007 1:38:51 PM
Find out more about this user Visit this user's webpage Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
I am at a loss as to what the World Cup 2100 has to do with the situation in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is no protectorate of South Africa. Before these human rights zombies wish to use Bush,Blair and Howard to act on their behalf let them look at the disgraceful situation in the Solomon Islands and Timor d'Este and focus their good intentions on matters Indigenous and campaign just as vigorously for a meaningful Bill of Rights and update the archaic 19th century constitution.
Posted by Vioetbou, Friday, 20 April 2007 5:08:44 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
The argument for refusing to play the Springbocks in 2001 included that the South African Government had been claiming that the sporting contacts by other countries were endorsements of apartheid. Teams that toured South Africa also acted in accordance with the principles of apartheid. (New Zealand and Australia sent all white teams for some years. Then Maori were included in the NZ teams, but were called 'honorary whites.)

Similarly, Mugabe trumpets continuing sporting contacts as endorsement of his regime. There is a good argment for Australian teams refusing to play Zimbabwe, for by doing so, they, and we, support a vicious, evil regime. There is an argument, even if the tyrannical government is not claiming endorsement, that decining the contact presses the population to change things.

It's a novel idea to propose boycoting those nations that support tyrannical regimes in third countries. How do you argue the general principle?

If we had adopted it we could not have played the US at anything when it supported Pinochet and Sadam Hussein and the Taliban. We would not have played any of the Warsaw Pact countries. We should decline to play Pakistan now. Perhaps India, for its covert support of the Tamil Tigers? (But let us not get sidetracked on the issues of where to draw lines. They are not of moral significance.)
Posted by ozbib, Saturday, 21 April 2007 3:03:50 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
And Indigenous Australians here in this country live in fourth world conditions - but according to this author we are legit. pull the other leg...
Posted by Rainier, Saturday, 21 April 2007 5:41:11 PM
Find out more about this user Visit this user's webpage Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
While I normally enjoy reading Peter Roebuck for his eloquence, this article, though passionate, seems to have taken a logic by-pass. Exactly why did he say the 2010 World Cup should be taken out of South Africa?

Trying to marry politics and sport where they should remain apart has often been shown to be a folly. Remember the fiasco of the American Boycott of the 1980 Olympics followed by the retaliatory boycott of the Russians four years later. The Americans boycotted the Moscow Olympics because they didnít agree with the Russians invading Afghanistan. Twenty-five years later, the Americans are invading the country themselves!

Now by Peter Roebuckís logic, what sports should we be boycotting? If we donít like what the Americans are doing, should we boycott the three golf majors that are being held in America this year? Or should countries not participate in the Australian Tennis open because of John Howardís complicity with Bush?

Letís try not to punish sports for the errors of politicians.

Even in the famous and positive example of the South African team sports ban of the seventies and eighties, this was still an issue kept within the domain of sport. The reason the South African cricket teams were banned was that their sports federations were controlled by whites only and team selections were racially based. When this state of affairs changed, independent of whether Mandela had taken power or the SA constitution had changed, or any other reason, the cricket and rugby teams were welcomed back into the world fold.

Weíre having the World Cup in South Africa because the Football Federation wants to promote the sport, yes promote football, around the world, and especially this time in a developing football continent, and South Africa was thought to have the best facilities in Africa to make that a success. For some reason that I canít figure out, Peter Roebuck wants to take that sporting opportunity away from Africa.
Posted by Mick V, Saturday, 21 April 2007 8:45:20 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. All

About Us :: Search :: Discuss :: Feedback :: Legals :: Privacy