World Cup 2006: FIFA mismanagement, again May 29, 2006Posted by fukumimi in Football, Sport, Travel, World Cup.
The Sankei Shimbun had an article over the weekend exposing the full scale of the accomodations debacle that is currently angering hoteliers in Germany.
FIFA's subsidiary WCAS which had reserved as many as 2 million room.nights for sponsors, VIPs, and teams, has cancelled more than 1 million room.nights. The cancellations amount to 8000 rooms at 76 hotels, of which 5000 rooms are concentrated in and around Berlin.
Hoteliers are angry that the cancellations occured so late, although the cancellations occured before cancellation fees kicked in. (I suspect normal people are being held to draconian cancellation clauses, whereas WCAS has negotiated flexible terms)
Some hotels are slashing prices to increase occupancy rates, whereas some have said it would be unfair to those who have reserved their rooms at the published rates and will not be modifying pricing.
This is not the first time FIFA have screwed up. A similar hotel cancellation problem was reported in Japan/Korea 2002.
There is also the question of why WCAS was handling this role. WCAS is said to be a company associated with FIFA, but details are unclear. FIFA still seems to be awarding lucrative deals like this to companies set up by insiders and associates, despite the fiasco of the on-line booking system and hotels 4 years ago.
It is high time organisations like FIFA (and the IOC, amongst others) get their act together and implement trasparency and accountability in their process, however hard it may be to kick a decades long habit of lining their own pockets.