FIFA Hits Snags In Fulfilling World Cup Vow In Africa Some of the $3 billion brought in by the 2010 World Cup is helping fund community programs in Africa. But FIFA, the organization that governs world soccer, hasn't managed to deliver fully on its pledge. Despite its name, the 20 Centers for 2010 program will not be completed by the end of this year -- or even 2011.
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FIFA Hits Snags In Fulfilling World Cup Vow In Africa

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FIFA Hits Snags In Fulfilling World Cup Vow In Africa

FIFA Hits Snags In Fulfilling World Cup Vow In Africa

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RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

Let's turn to an update on the World Cup, which was widely seen as a big success. It was a financial blockbuster for FIFA, the organization that governs world soccer. FIFA took in more than $3 billion, and it's pledged part of that money to develop soccer in Africa under a plan called 20 Centres for 2010. Anders Kelto reports from South Africa.

ANDERS KELTO: Unidentified group: (Singing in foreign language)

KELTO: As part of its pledge to create a positive legacy for the World Cup, FIFA has committed 20 Football for Hope Centres around Africa. Each must include a soccer field, an educational space, and a health care facility. The first center was completed here in Khayelitsha last year.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHANTING)

KELTO: Lunga Sidzumo is a community project coordinator at the center. He grew up here in Khayelitsha and he says the facility is making a huge difference in the community.

LUNGA SIDZUMO: For the kids, it's a blessing for them. But if ever we don't have any event, they will be coming and nagging us, pushing us and arguing that, why there's nothing happening in the center, just because we are used to come to play in the Football for Hope Center?

KELTO: Lungsi Jere is a local coach and she also believes the facility is having a positive effect.

LUNGSI JERE: It's really changed so many kids' lives. Most especially, there are kids who are - who've chosen to play sport at the early age, because I think it just take them from negative things out there.

KELTO: FIFA's head of corporate social responsibility, Federico Addiechi, says from Johannesburg that they have encountered some challenges, but he insists that the project is on time.

FEDERICO ADDIECHI: The goal for these 20 centers to be built was end of 2012. And we are probably three, four months behind schedule, but we are doing well in terms of the setup of the team.

KELTO: Kirk Friedrich, the managing director of Grassroot Soccer, says finding groups to administer the centers hasn't been easy.

KIRK FRIEDRICH: There aren't many organizations out there that are using football as a tool for social development and also have experience running youth centers. And it takes a bit of experience. It takes a bit of practice to know how to do it correctly. So it's not easy.

KELTO: But despite these setbacks, Addiechi claims that FIFA are trendsetters in the effort to use soccer as a tool for social development.

ADDIECHI: We are the first international sports federation to have established, back in 2005, a dedicated unit for social responsibility. You will not find this in the sports world.

KELTO: Do you ever come here and play soccer?

KANYA MOUSSA: Every day. We learn about good things. We learn about HIV and AIDS.

KELTO: Twelve-year-old Xiphisa Monsa says she loves Bafana Bafana, the South African men's soccer team.

XIPHISA MONSA: Well, my favorite is Tshabalala - Siphiwe Tshabalala from Bafana Bafana. Well, I like the way he plays, his styles, yeah.

KELTO: For NPR News, I'm Anders Kelto in Cape Town, South Africa.

MONTAGNE: You're listening to MORNING EDITION from NPR News.

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