Soccer

SWC cities: FIFA owe us money

2010-10-08 13:09
Danny Jordaan (File)
Johannesburg - South Africa's Soccer World Cup host cities say FIFA still owes them money, with one city manager threatening to "go to the next step" if the world football governing body does not pay up.

Michael Sutcliffe, city manager for the city of Durban, said on Friday that FIFA still owes the city a promised 10% share of ticket revenues and reimbursement for work the World Cup organiser requested.

"We need to be paid very urgently," Sutcliffe said.

"We have negotiated for two years. We are ready to go to the next step. FIFA did not give us anything."

Sutcliffe said besides the 10% share of ticket revenues agreed before the tournament, FIFA still owes the city money for expenses related to post-tournament clean-up, electricity, water and additional requests on the new R3.4bn Moses Mabhida Stadium.

"There was some additional work they have to pay for," he said, but would not give details of the city's negotiations with FIFA.

The Times newspaper reported that the country's nine host cities are all demanding payment of money they say the football governing body still owes them, totalling R500m.

FIFA distanced itself from the dispute on Friday, saying it was between the cities and the South African organising committee.

"This is a matter between the Local Organising Committee and the host cities. FIFA has therefore no comment to make," the organisation said in an e-mailed statement.

The local organising committee said it plans to honour the revenue-sharing agreement and will begin meeting with host cities next week to resolve any outstanding issues.

"The ticketing revenue figures are currently being audited, and once that process is completed, (the cities) will receive the 10% of ticket sales as per our agreement with them," chief organiser Danny Jordaan said.

"We've set up meetings with each and every host city starting next week. The financial situation or the issues for each host city and each stadium are different. We will handle all issues on a case-by-case basis."

South Africa's host cities poured R11.7bn into 10 stadiums, including five built from scratch, to host Africa's first World Cup.

But with the fanfare over, city officials are concerned the stadiums will become white elephants, with Durban, Cape Town, Polokwane and Nelspruit all struggling to find long-term uses.

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