R12m FIFA ‘award’ just another scam

It was intriguing news of an approximate R12 million award from FIFA that coincided this week with the 57th anniversary of my career as a sportswriter.

The intricate email bearing the tidings was on a FIFA letterhead, ‘nogal’, with the information that it was part of the 2018 World Cup marketing operation that was being sponsored by Microsoft.

My better judgement overshadowed the unlikely expectation that there could be a degree of authenticity surrounding the award and that it might be something more than one of the multitude of scams that are currently circulating the globe.

Still, as further confirmation and to satisfy my curiosity, I contacted FIFA to confirm it was indeed a scam - and to enquire whether soccer's world controlling body was aware of other such dubious ploys.

FIFA's response was commendably immediate in confirming that I was not a multi-million Rand beneficiary and no more than a targeted victim, with the aim to obtain information that could have cost me dearly.

"These fraudsters are not unfamiliar to us," said the FIFA spokesperson, "using our prestigious name and connections to further their devious, unlawful aims.

"We investigate each case as it transpires and which is drawn to our attention, while attempting to bring the guilty parties to book through legal channels and authorities."

In keeping with their endeavours, the FIFA spokesperson asked if I could forward them a copy of the email promising me the inviting largesse so that they could investigate the matter.

Let’s hope they get their man!