Sports: Blatter’s corroded legacy on South Asian football fields
There are no recognisable football fields, no players, and just a rusting goalpost at Pakistan’s Hawksbay training centre, built with a $500,000 FIFA grant on a windswept plot by the Arabian Sea near Karachi, and officially completed two years ago.
In Nepal, goats graze on a rutted playing field near decrepit facilities at the Dharan football academy built with FIFA cash in the Himalayan foothills. The sole member of staff, a watchman, says he hasn’t been paid for a year.
A review of football development projects in these two South Asian countries shows they are littered with half-built and under-used facilities, despite receiving more than $2 million from the sport’s world governing body this year alone.
In recent weeks, reporters visited seven projects in Pakistan and Nepal that received FIFA money under its ‘Goal’ programme – which funds football fields for youth academies, known as technical centres, and playing surfaces in stadiums. They found that just one had an active full-time training programme. Three had no proper playing fields. Read More