AU act now, or FIFA 2010 World Cup/Afcon affected by Mugabe


01/07/2008

JOHANNESBURG---(CAJ News) THERE are growing fears that Zimbabwe's economic and political crisis could impact negatively on the 2010 FIFA World Cup to be hosted by South Africa.

This is the warning of analysts who believe the problems in President Robert Mugabe’s country could spill into South Africa and the rest of the region, and thus make the region volatile ahead of the global football fiesta.

Zimbabwe Exiles Forum (ZEF) director Gabriel Shumba said the prevailing situation did not augur well for the hosting of a successful event.

“The possibility of a civil war is very high (in Zimbabwe), which can only mean that the Zimbabwe issue will in practice impact massively on the region as a threat to regional peace,” he said.

Collen Ncube, a member of ZEF, said the situation, which has left Zimbabwe teetering on the brink of anarchy, could scare away investors and visitors ahead of the World Cup.

“The crisis could be disastrous as far as the soccer World Cup is concerned. As we prepare for a milestone like that, we cannot let Zimbabwe drag down the region and make it unsafe for visitors and investors,” he said.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup, which will be held in Africa for the first time, will be staged in the months of June and July.

The sporting world has in recent years also voiced its concern over the situation in Zimbabwe.

Only last week, South African cricket union severed ties with Zimbabwe Cricket following the chaotic run-up to the one-man presidential run-off election. The British government is also mulling barring Zimbabwe sportspersons from entering the country.

Zimbabwe is going through a crippling political and economic phase characterised by violence, skyrocketing inflation, joblessness and grinding poverty.–CAJ News

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