The South African national soccer team’s nickname “Bafana Bafana” is sometimes pejoratively renamed “Banana Banana” in SA, due to their underwhelming performances, so if they can use some good old black magic to assist them in the World Cup, it will be much needed! Report by Nicolas Brulliard for the Wall Street Journal:

JOHANNESBURG—As the second-lowest ranked team in the World Cup competition, South Africa is expected to lose its opening match Friday against Mexico. But to ensure victory, Michael Mvakali recommends a simple fix: a concoction of plants and animal limbs.

“You use the horse’s foot and the ostrich leg, you mix it with some herbs and you put it on the players, on their knees and their legs, and when they kick, even the goalkeeper can’t get hold of that ball…

Following on the Star Wars theme (see my last post about the comeback of the Star Wars Kid), here’s an admittedly corporate but still excellent Star Wars Cantina mashup released just in time for the FIFA World Cup and featuring David Beckham, Daft Punk, Snoop Dogg, Franz Beckenbauer, Noel Gallagher, Ian Brown, Ciara, Jay Baruchel, and DJ Neil Armstrong. The gang at disinformation are skeptical about the benefits of the World Cup for South Africans, but on the other hand can’t wait to see the actual soccer…

In June 2010 the world’s most popular sporting event – soccer’s FIFA World Cup – will come to Africa for the first time. With less than two weeks remaining before the first match of the month-long tournament, one can practically hear the soon to be famous vuvuzelas – ubiquitous and deafening plastic horns that South Africans love to blow during the games – all the way around the world, such is the gathering media hype.

There is no doubting the overwhelming sense of excitement at large in South Africa. However, if one digs a little deeper, there are also those who question the vast sums being spent by the government of what is still a nation with millions of its citizens living in poverty.

With that in mind, in 2008 I began making the documentary film World Cup Soccer In Africa: Who Really Wins? to investigate what South Africans, across the social spectrum, believed the staging of the FIFA World Cup would mean for them personally, and for the country as a whole. The objective was to assemble a record of hopes and expectations, at that time in the country’s history – something to look back upon after the tournament was over, and in the context of actual experience (as explored in interviews to be conducted subsequently in late 2010).

There was, without exception, interest in the project expressed by everyone who was approached for an interview. The ultimate list of interviewees was essentially determined by logistics – whether they were present in a particular city on the same day that I was. For example, as luck had it, Archbishop Tutu…

FIFA, the soccer world’s governing body, has been accused of various corrupt practices, as has its controversial president, Sepp Blatter, who engineered the selection of South Africa for the 2010 edition of the event, which takes place every four years, like the Olympics. Rumors of bribery amongst African nations swirled at the time of Blatter’s election as FIFA president. The upcoming disinformation® documentary World Cup Soccer in Africa: Who Really Wins? also questions FIFA’s motives and whether the event will really benefit Africa. Now William Watts asks some tough questions of FIFA, at Marketwatch:

It may carry a lower profile than the International Olympic Committee, another controversial, Swiss-based international sports body. And to many Americans, Fifa, which stands for Federation Internationale de Football Association, means nothing alongside the likes of the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball.

But the overseer of international soccer captained by Joseph “Sepp” Blatter has repeatedly shaken off allegations of corruption and regional in-fighting as well as a global recession to become arguably the most powerful sports organization on the planet.

It’s all down to the World Cup — the quadrennial extravaganza that crowns the world’s soccer champion and is rivaled only by the Olympics as the most watched sporting event around the globe.

Blatter last month was able to brag that Fifa’s annual 2009 revenues passed the $1 billion level for the first time in its history, leaving the organization with a $196 million surplus…