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Evidence reviewed in the “bunker”. “Soccer World Cup for Sale” – the dark secrets of FIFA

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You have money, you have a vote, and you have a vote, you organize the World Cup. The two-part documentary “Soccer World Cup for Sale” shows how corruption helped prosperous Qatar in its race for the right to host the 2022 World Cup. The film is available on TVN24 GO and Player.pl.


He rules world football, there is no richer headquarters in sport. It organizes the World Cup, the biggest football tournament, attracting sponsors with millions. The International Football Federation (FIFA) was looked at by Heidi Blake and Jonathan Calvert.

Investigative journalists learned about the organization’s structure and its dark secrets during the times of Joao Havelange and Joseph Blatter, two FIFA presidents who ruled the federation from 1974 to 2015.

Not a word to the family

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It started out as in a spy movie.

– We met our source in a London hotel. Certain conditions were set: the information was too confidential to be simply passed on to us. We had to leave London and go through the informants’ computers in the tiny office we called “the bunker,” recalls Calvert.

– We couldn’t even tell our friends and relatives what and where we were working on. We were being watched all the time – says Blake.

The game was worth the candle. Journalists could not “burn” their source, someone could watch them.

They looked at the file of documents, learned about the history of FIFA, the long list of villains surrounding it and the mechanisms that govern it: each country, regardless of the number of inhabitants, has one vote in FIFA elections. It doesn’t matter if it’s Brazil with 200 million inhabitants or the Caribbean island of Montserrat with 5,000 inhabitants.

How it’s working? They give an example: Havelange recognizes that there are over 50 small countries in Africa, little or nothing on the football map. He decides to meet their needs in exchange for the votes he needs for re-election.

And it started. Money for the development of football associations in the countries of interest to him flowed in a wide stream. He paid, for which he was repaid with a voice.

Money for the vote

His successor, Sepp Blatter, took over the dirty practices.

“Blatter and his mentor Havelange perpetuated the bribery,” Blake accuses.

– For them, bribes were part of the system. They built their power on it. They have never fought corruption, they have even nurtured it, continues Calvert.

READ: Platini and Blatter accused of fraud and mismanagement

Finally, Qatar, which is full of oil, appears. In 2010, he wins the race for the right to host the 2022 World Cup. A debatable winner? This is an understatement.

The Qatar World Cup will take place in the fall of 2022Getty Images

The World Cup has never been played in the Middle East, never in an Islamic country. Football in this edition did not make it there. It is also the first World Cup that will have to be played in the fall, because in summer, the traditional season for the World Cup, in Qatar the mercury in thermometers reaches 50 degrees Celsius – it is a heat that threatens the lives of footballers. Air-conditioned stadiums were yet to be built.

So what made you choose your controversial candidate country?

The trail leads to a Qatari millionaire. There are rumors of envelopes full of money.

The Qatar World Cup is the first World Cup tournament to be held in the Middle East and the first in an Islamic countryGetty Images

The selection of the host of the World Cup is made by the Executive Committee, the highest body of FIFA. 24 members, including powerful figures, former footballers, activists, millionaires. 24 people, most of whom need to be pulled over to your site.

Can you influence them? The journalists’ trick proves that this is not an extremely difficult task.

Where to watch “The Football World Cup for Sale”

“The Man Who Sold The World Cup” is a documentary from the discovery + Originals library, directed by Daniel DiMauro and Morgan Pehme. The two-episode documentary can be watched on Player.pl and TVN24 GO. Its world premiere took place on October 17, 2021.

Main photo source: “Soccer World Cup for Sale”

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