Documentary describes corruption in the world football confederation

A mini-series on Netflix shows how Qatar was awarded the World Cup, which starts on Sunday, as a result of the sick culture of FIFA.

The World Cup kicks off on Sunday in a country with a questionable human rights record. In 2010, FIFA chose Qatar as the host country over the United States and South Korea to host the 2010 World Cup. Migrant workers from Africa and Asia have worked in Qatar under appalling conditions in recent years in stadiums and other World Cup buildings. Thousands were killed and wounded.

The trailer for the documentary ‘FIFA Uncovered’ in four parts.

But the human rights situation in the oil state with an area smaller than the area of ​​Flanders is only touched upon in ‘FIFA Uncovered’, a Netflix mini-series about the world football governing body FIFA. The emphasis is on FIFA’s corporate culture. How does the organization work? How are the world championships distributed? What kind of person was Sepp Blatter who led the sports federation between 1998 and 2016?

Monking Blatter

Anyone who was hesitant to follow the World Cup because of the human rights situation in Qatar will be given plenty of arguments in the enlightening mini-series to drop out. In four episodes of approximately one hour each, a dizzying picture of FIFA is drawn as a thoroughly corrupt organization.

Manufacturers do not introduce new elements. The stories about brown envelopes with green notes and backroom politics between bigwigs have already come out in fragments in recent years. They are clearly listed in the series. In addition, the creators got many leading actors in front of the camera.



A Qatar World Cup messenger tells how three African members of FIFA’s executive committee were each awarded $1.5 million.

Sepp Blatter, suspended by FIFA in 2016, speaks at length. The 86-year-old Swiss does not make a bad impression. Monclingly, the former FIFA boss emphasizes its benefits for global football. But what about the stories of corruption during his reign, with senior football executives sharing the financial benefits with each other with every major decision made by the organisation? “On a football field there is a referee, a time limit and lines. It’s not there outside,’ Blatter replies.

The corruption started more than forty years ago under his predecessor João Havelange. He was paid with revenues from broadcasting rights and received bribes from sponsors. When Blatter, number two in the organization, saw that this was possible, he counted himself rich. He pushed the Brazilian aside in 1998 and installed a divide-and-rule climate that kept him in power for almost twenty years.

Airbuses and the FBI

The mini-series takes a detailed look at two low points in FIFA’s recent history. The first is the awarding in 2010 of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar. The current World Cup was awarded with fraud, several investigations indicated. A Qatar World Cup messenger tells how three African members of FIFA’s executive committee, which votes on the awarding of the World Cup, each received $1.5 million, allegedly for their own football federation.

Sepp Blatter does not do self-analysis in ‘FIFA Uncovered’.
©AFP

Telling – but not proving – how world football has become the stake in a geopolitical game, is how former footballer Michel Platini, who was very influential in FIFA’s European wing, was told by French President Nicolas Sarkozy a few weeks before the vote on Qatar. to the Élysée. The Emir of Qatar was also present during that lunch. Platini is said to have convinced four members of the executive committee to vote for Qatar. Sarkozy later confirmed that Qatar bought French Airbus planes and his favorite football club Paris Saint-Germain.

The other low point was the FBI investigation that led to a series of arrests of football executives and a raid on FIFA headquarters in Zurich in 2015. My conscience is clear and I sleep well. I don’t feel responsible for what happened,” Blatter said at the end of FIFA Uncovered.

Although the procedure for awarding the World Cup has been reformed and new checks and balances have been introduced, Blatter’s successor Gianni Infantino, who was named in 2016 in the Panama Papers, which revealed tax schemes in exotic locations, could undermine the credibility of his organization in the latest episode is not restored.

FIFA revealed can be seen on Netflix

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