The South African government has agreed to exempt football tournament organiser FIFA from its textile and clothing import duties, press reports said.

Although the government remains adamant that duties are needed to protect its domestic industry, it will allow imports of FIFA goods connected to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The move, not yet believed to be official, was criticised by Dot Keet of the Alternative Information and Development Centre.

Keet said the deal made a mockery of the efforts of trade representatives to achieve different tariff lines, it was reported.