When it was announced that South Africa would be hosting the 2010 World Cup, it occurred to me that very few of the people who love and support soccer here would be able to afford to participate in the fun and games. So I decided to create an Unofficial Mascot for the Unofficial Game that is played on the streets, parks and fields of South Africa. It's for the person who loves to kick a ball around with their mates, goes to all the local games and supports the culture of soccer in South Africa simply because it's their passion.
I dubbed the "Unoffical Game" FUTI, and created this little fellow as it's mascot. With the help of some good friends in the rag trade I managed to show a T-Shirt design to a chain store and they agreed to run a test over December of last year to see if there was any interest in the garments.
It was a huge thrill to see my little T's on the shelves, and after a few visits here and there I left town to go on holiday. When I next went to check I was amazed to see all the Tees were gone. I am hoping this means there was significant interest in my little creation.
The underlying ideal here is that the HUGE investments made by FIFA and it's sponsors are so avaricious that most of the people who made soccer the world's most popular sport will actually not be able to watch a single live game. If FUTI were to become the game the people play and support whilst boycotting big business interests, maybe it would cause a rethink in the boardrooms and they would consider keeping sport available to the amateurs.
I know it's idealistic and naive, but I have to confess I wouldn't mind making a whole lot of money if FUTI T-shirts sell like wildfire. The question is: "Would I use that money to buy tickets for less fortunates?" I doubt it. I am as greedy and ruthless as the more fortunates it seems.