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Foul: The obscene revelations of FIFA corruption

While Truly Reds presents a regular Sunday Review feature which looks at various Manchester United related books, this weeks obscene election – if it can really be described as an ‘election’, of FIFA President Sepp Blatter, prompted me to re examine a 448 page hardback which was published three years ago. Although it’s not specifically about United, the club IS part of world football and as such, this is a book which should be of great interest to any football fan.

Award winning reporter Andrew Jennings has led the way into investigating corruption in world football. He spent four years delving into the dark side of ‘the beautiful game’. The result is this explosive and damning expose of the officials that run football’s world governing body, FIFA. No individual has managed to penetrate the sanctified domain of FIFA and probed successfully into its often criticized yet unproven corruption of the world game.

Jennings argues how FIFA President Sepp Blatter and his associates have misappropriated their position at the head of the world game in their desire for power, control, and a lucrative pay off. How did these bizarre characters manage to take such control? Jennings has undertaken unprecedented research in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas, interviewing hundreds of officials and amassing an extraordinary library of damning documents.

He tells how Blatter and his cronies built an invincible electoral machine to keep him in power forever. He revisits the 1970s and the privatisation of international sport and its revenues by a close knit group of officials and marketing agents working for their own self interest. And he brings the story up to date with new disclosures about how Germany won the contest to stage the 2006 World Cup and the inside story on the dirty battle to host 2010.

Here’s one example of what a London based reader feels about this book. Louis Akindele wrote that “If you love football and have an interest in the running of the game then you must read this book. It will truly open your eyes to a vast array of underhanded dealings going on at the very highest level with the very people who control the peoples sport.

After reading this book you realise that those people at the top have got there not through being the best people for the job and the people who care most about the sport. On the contrary these organisations such as FIFA and UEFA display the highest form of nepotism possible. People are kept in power through a friends and old boys union of power which is almost unbreakable.

While the grass roots of the beautiful game struggle for funds the FIFA heads drive around in chauffer driven cars and charge their every move to the FIFA account funded by….yes you the grassroots football player. Its heartbreaking to discover the level of corruption that exists in these organisations and I’d recommend as many people as possible to read this book so more publicity is brought to this fact and something can be done about it.

Since this book was published one of the biggest and worst characters unveiled in this book, who is demonstrated in these pages to be breaking several FIFA rules in his every action, has simply been promoted and now stands as FIFA Vice president. Something needs to be done.”

I hate to say it but there’s little doubt that FIFA can now only be described as corrupt. Is there anyone out there who can somehow save football from it?

Can FIFA ever be replaced by a more transparent football organisation?


No Responses to “Foul: The obscene revelations of FIFA corruption”

  1. RedScot says:

    This is a book I had never heard of before now! I thank you Boss.Will order it tommorow for summer reading from the damaged section of Amazon books as per.
    My view although very limited is and I have said it before as have many football fans from all clubs around the world, its a closed shop so many clique’s to break through.
    How in gods earth can you have a vote to head the strongest of all controlling bodies of sport in the world, when there is only one nominee to vote for?
    He I believe Septic Bladder achieved all of the votes cast apart from 13% a resounding vote of confidence…surely.
    The English FA, pulling out of the voting process as late as Sunday had little or in fact zero time to canvass the remaining delegates.It was argued and partially correct this appeared bitter for their failed bid for the World cup in now ‘likely’ Qatar.Only the Scottish FA backed the English FA to call the vote off, while the corruption investigations were carried out.Dead end.
    The saddest aspect of recent and I have written this elsewhere at greater length than here to highlight the shame of F.I.F.A the pillaging of ‘normal fans’ to attain a ticket for the biggest show of the year at Wembley at intial massively inflated face value prices, for more than 30% to be retained for the Switzerland based bureaucrats to do as they wish with said briefs.Lining their nests and passing onto more suits.
    However its all right now, pissing in the wind, until a collective stance is taken and force of numbers makes these people managing the ‘game’ they are not beyond the law of the land and corruption and theft, result in custodial sentences.I say bring back hanging, or walk the plank!( joking).
    Anyhow, more important matters await me, a cool pint with mates at my village watering hole.
    Ps anybody seriously interested in this check out ‘transparency in sport’Andrew Jennings site…..och Google

  2. wiuru says:

    My view is Blatter = Edgar j Hoover, a file on everyone in power within FIFA guarenteed loyalty on tap . Great article Frank , They FIFA rely on our indolence not to rock the boat . It would of been interesting to hear Jack Warners revelations after his Standing down by the so called Ethics Commitee . NO doubt though the back stage moves to placate and silence him would of been in place even as the verdict was delivered .
    Further to this the four members who were exposed by Lord Triesman have been exonerated ! I do not believe for one minute he lied , its just to me another murky sham within FIFA . The only way forward is to take up a stance similar to the International Olympics Commitee , bring in external bodies to investigate wrong doing etc . All of which i know wont happen !
    Ill certainly read the book Frank and Red Scotts advised site .

  3. murty says:

    The only way to clean up FIFA is for a rival organisation to be set up and put it out of business. It is rotten to the core and the fact that Septic Bladder was voted in again shows that no-one but the English FA is prepared to rock the boat. It is anything but deomocratic and the only way that I can see is for the big nations like the UK, France, Brazil etc to walk so others will follow. Otherwise it will be more of the same. The corruption and cronyism will continue and as Redscot said above it is mugs like us that are funding it because we love the game so scumbag fuckers like these than live like kings and pull the puppet strings.

  4. Frank Scicluna says:

    @wiuru, murty and RedScot – Apologies for reminiscing BUT I have seen how FIFA operates with my own eyes. The 1993 World Youth Cup Finals in Australia and again in Malaysia 1997, the 1993 Under 17 World Cup Finals in Japan and World Cup Qualifiers in Edmonton Canada, Sydney and Buenos Aires also in ’93. The excesses of FIFA officials – including an arrogant Sepp Blatter, were nothing less than obscene. They REALLY thought they ruled the world. Breakfast with Blatter in Kobe, Japan was an eye opener because despite his unlimited charm, everyone could see that he was nothing more than a snake oil salesman only interested in selling himself.


    is a photo taken at FIFA Zurich headquarters in 1990 showing Blatter on the left, myself on the right and former Tottenham Hotspur manager Keith Burkinshaw in the centre. Sad to say that the people who ran football in Australia at the time were no different. murty is 100% correct in saying that a rival to FIFA must somehow be set up. Difficult? Of course. Impossible? Of course NOT!

  5. murty says:

    You’re right Frank – It’ not impossible but I do think it’s the only solution. The obscene excesses of FIFA are very deep rooted and they are their own judge and jury so will never find any wrong-doing – they only thing they’ll try to improve on is covering things up better in the future and not deal with any thorny issues.



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