Rights Groups Give FIFA a Yellow Card
Posted on Nov 27, 2009
Zimbabwean human rights groups have called out soccer’s international governing body for handing Robert Mugabe, the country’s notorious leader, a “propaganda coup” when he was permitted to hold up the World Cup trophy while it made its way through the African continent. —JCL
Human rights groups in Zimbabwe have condemned world football’s governing body for allowing Robert Mugabe to hold the World Cup trophy as it passed through Zimbabwe.
The trophy is on a tour of all 53 African countries ahead of next year’s football showpiece in neighbouring South Africa. But activists in Zimbabwe criticised Fifa for handing a propaganda coup to a leader blamed for atrocities and oppression.
At a ceremony in Harare yesterday, Mugabe joked gleefully as he lifted the cup. Inspecting the 6.5kg solid gold trophy, the president could not resist a dig at his old enemy Britain, according to the New Zimbabwe website. “Britain does not have any gold, neither does Germany,” he was quoted as saying.
AP / Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi
Robert Mugabe, known for his widespread human rights abuses, basks in a center-stage moment on the World Cup trophy’s tour of Africa.