From power struggles to global politics, an exploration of FIFA reveals the organisation’s chequered history — and what it takes to host a World Cup.
First, Some background: FIFA, (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), the international governing body of association football, beach football and futsal, was founded in 1904 to oversee international competitions. National associations must each be members of the six regional confederations into which the world is divided: Africa, Asia, Europe, North and Central America and the Caribbean, Oceania, and South America.
FIFA’s award of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 World Cup to Qatar has been widely criticised by the media. FIFA inside sources allege that Russian kickbacks of cash and gifts given to FIFA executive members were enough to secure the Russian 2018 bid weeks before the result was announced.
Sepp Blatter, the former football administrator who served as the 8th president of FIFA from 1998 to 2015, was widely criticised in the media for giving a warning about the “evils of the media” in a speech to FIFA executive committee members shortly before they voted on the hosting of the 2018 World Cup, a reference to Sunday Times exposés and a Panorama investigation.
The FIFA Uncovered documentary series delves into the dark side of FIFA. The episodes are:
Episode 1: In 2015, 14 executive members of FIFA were arrested on suspicion of corruption. An investigation ensues into how a World Cup’s host country is selected.
Episode 2: Joseph Sepp Blatter wins a dubious victory as FIFA president. As South Africa is chosen to host the 2010 Cup, rumours swirl around executive Jack Warner.
Episode 3: Following Russia and Qatar’s unexpected wins of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids, shifty transactions come to light, suggesting bribery and betrayal.
Episode 4: Chuck Blazer makes a deal to evade prison. Sepp Blatter faces a thorny reelection. As FIFA looks to restore its image, questions remain about its future.