Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Brazil to probe FIFA racism

03 December 2013, 18:37

Sao Paulo - Just four days before the draw for the 2014 World Cup, FIFA faced yet another embarrassment when a Sao Paulo prosecutor opened an investigation into possible racism by football's world governing body.

A Sao Paulo state prosecutor has asked FIFA and the company it hired to organise Friday's draw to explain why it chose two white-skinned actors to present the televised show instead of two black-skinned actors.

Two Afro-Brazilians had been suggested as possible hosts but were overlooked in favour of light-skinned model Fernanda Lima and her white husband Rodrigo Hilbert, a TV presenter, news magazine Veja reported without saying how it obtained the information.

"I opened the investigation due to the suspicion of a crime of racism on the part of FIFA, or by the company they selected to organise the show, GEO Eventos," prosecutor Christiano Jorge Santos told Reuters, adding that, if the report is true, he will seek to open criminal proceedings.

Lima and Hilbert do not represent the racial make-up in Brazil - a country where half the people declare themselves either black or dark-skinned - "and so the change was not justified," Santos added.

Santos asked FIFA, GEO Eventos, Veja and TV Globo, the broadcaster reported to have suggested the black couple, well-known soap opera actors Lazaro Ramos and Camila Pitanga, for more information about the choice.

The GEO Eventos website was under maintenance and additional efforts to reach spokespeople at the company were unsuccessful.

In a statement sent late on Monday, FIFA said it "never vetoed anyone" and pointed out that Pitanga herself denied she was invited to host the event.

"The selection of Fernanda Lima and Rodrigo Hilbert was mainly based on the positive experience made during the launch of the Official Emblem and the Preliminary Draw," the statement said.

Lima and Hilbert participated in the launch of the official emblem of the 2014 World Cup in Johannesburg three years ago and Lima was also one of the presenters of the preliminary, or qualifying, draw in Rio in 2011.

"FIFA's stance against any form of discrimination and racism which is even enshrined in our various regulations among others is well known," the statement added.

The organisation also pointed out there will be black faces on show during the event that precedes Friday's draw to decide who plays who in next year's 32-team tournament.

The participants, including hip hop artist Emicida, veteran samba star Alcione and samba singer Margareth Menezes, all of whom are Afro-Brazilian, "represent the cultural and musical diversity of Brazil," FIFA said in a statement last week.

The investigation is just the latest in a string of embarrassments to hit footballs world governing body.

Some 18 months ago FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke infuriated Brazilians when he suggested their slow pace of building work might be improved if they got "a kick up the backside."

Last week, part of the stadium that will host the tournament's opening match collapsed when a crane toppled over and two workers were killed.

The accident at Sao Paulo's World Cup stadium may delay its opening until February, but FIFA has said it is not worried about the venue being ready on time to host the tournament's opening game in June.

The last six of the 12 stadiums to be used in the tournament are slated to be ready by the end of the year but it now looks likely that more than half of them will be handed over behind schedule.

Transportation projects in at least five cities have been cut back or shelved entirely depriving Brazil of what should have been the lasting legacy of the tournament.

- Reuters


Musa scores first goal for Leicester

22 October 2016, 20:18

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...