Fifa has been criticised because its sponsor-only rules will not allow distribution of condoms or safe-sex information during 2010 soccer World Cup games and events in South Africa.

Leading South African AIDS organisations condemned FIFA and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) in a statement for blocking access to the items within FIFA controlled stadia and Fan Fests.

“FIFA has a moral obligation to partner with local organisations who have been negotiating through the South Africa National AIDS Council (SANAC) Sports and Entertainment Sector with the LOC and FIFA in order to protect both citizens and visitors alike from HIV infection, TB and the H1N1 virus,” said the organisations.

The NGOs said that they requested an urgent meeting with FIFA and the LOC to respond to their concerns but this request has not been granted.

“Our government is… calling for up to 15 million people to test for HIV in the next year. The World Cup is an opportunity to take forward this campaign and to combine sport with messages about HIV prevention and healthy living that can be heard by millions. It would be a tragedy to miss it,” said the groups.

South Africa has an estimated 5.7 million people living with HIV, more than any other country in the world.

The statement was endorsed by organisations including the AIDS Consortium, Community Media Trust , Johns Hopkins Health and Education in South Africa, National Religious Association for Social Development, SA HIV Clinicians Society, Section 27, Sonke Gender Justice Network, Soul City and the Treatment Action Campaign.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup kicks off in South Africa this Friday.

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