The dark underbelly of the World Cup

Julie Bindel had an interesting piece about an aspect of the World Cup not usually dwelt upon in the football pages.

With just 10 days to go until the first matches kick off, shops across Britain are heaving with World Cup merchandise: football shirts, whistles and scarves. And then there are the condoms. At 500 branches of Superdrug, there is a range of condoms tailored for England supporters. They are emblazoned with the slogan “Lie Back and Think of England” and decorated with the cross of St George.

It may seem reassuring that football supporters travelling to Germany are being encouraged to be sensible, but there is a pernicious side to the connection between the 2006 World Cup and sex. Alongside the beer tents and burger bars catering for a massive influx of fans to Germany, entrepreneurs are preparing to sell a product already openly on sale throughout Germany: women.

Germany has legalised its sex industry – Cologne opened the world’s first drive-in brothel in 2001. But with three million foreign football fans about to descend on the 12 cities hosting the tournament, entrepreneurs are laying on special facilities. In Berlin, for example, a 3,000sqm mega-brothel has been built next to the main World Cup venue. It is designed to take as many as 650 customers at any one time. Wooden “performance boxes” resembling toilets have been built, with condoms, showers and parking all laid on…

The really scary question is: where will these women come from? Answer: people trafficking.