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?