FIFA, contracts and taxpayers

What is the free market position when a private company like FIFA strikes a deal with a government like South Africa to infringe the rights of citizens in taxpayer funded stadiums?

Put to one side the idea that governments should not exist in the first place. Does FIFA have a contractual right to do as it pleases in stadiums it has hired from the government, even though these stadiums are taxpayer funded, and theoretically owned by all SA citizens.

Can FIFA suspend your right to say what you want, buy and sell as you see fit, wear what you please, eat and drink whatever you desire, just because it has a contract for a place for a period?

Is it entitled to say, “Don’t come if you don’t like our rules”? Is government entitled to sign away our rights on our behalf?

Is this just another case of the “tough shit” principle?

  1. #1 by S van Jaarsveld on October 12, 2010 - 10:38 am

    The idea that the stadiums belong to the people is not correct. It belongs to the state and the state is not the people. We are the people, not the state. The state can do with the stadiums whatever it likes, since the stadium belongs to the state not the people. Its owners (the state) can contract with private firms any way it likes.

    Getting people to believe that something belongs to them because money stolen from them was used in its aquisition is in my opinion the biggest scam ever to hit this planet.

    Look, I take a big chunk of your income / car / house / furniture / whatever you would have spent your income on… but don’t get angry at me, coz look, here is a really nice sofa purchased with your money and you are welcome to use it any time because really it belongs to you because I used your money to buy it… only, you must pay me to sit on it, maintain it, clean it… and by-the-way I parked it out there in the dusty Namib.


    Those Dutch chicks should have read the fine print on the back of their tickets (their contracts with FIFA), which I presume includes some disclaimer regarding the bringing of brands and marketing material to matches… beware FIFA if they had people arrested for something NOT stated clearly in their tickets / contracts (which I suspect to be the case).

    What bothers me about this whole thing is accidental and truely innocent behaviour becoming criminalised. At the next match we should all pitch up with Nike caps and “child labour is okay” t-shirts just for the hell of it. Or support Nigeria with our bright green BP t-shirts. What if 10 people sitting next to each other quite accidentally arrive there wearing their Cosatu shirts ? Will they also be arrested ?

    • #2 by Trevor Watkins on October 12, 2010 - 10:50 am

      The idea that the stadiums belong to the people is not correct. It belongs to the state and the state is not the people.

      You may believe this, but the state does not say this, nor does the constitution, nor do the vast majority of citizens. Citizens are supposedly shareholders in the state, and therefore in state resources. Can a company conclude a contract which alienates the rights of shareholders. Of course it can, but I would guess such a contract would be illegal in most states. [Expert opinion required here.] If the state were to be disbanded tomorrow, I guess the state assets would be shared equally amongst all citizens, implying that they have some sense of ownership of them.

      I guess the real issue is: can a private company through contract with the state suspend the rights of citizens guaranteed by the constitution. And for libertarians, the question is, should it be able to do so?

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