FIFA Uncovered Review
FIFA Uncovered launched on Netflix the same day as the Crown so it went under the radar a little bit but this documentary around the corruption going on in FIFA is top class. The good thing about this documentary is that some of the main people involved are actually interviewed in the documentary and most notably Sepp Blatter is the person that stands out the most as he was in charge of the organization for 15 years and he was at the helm when Qatar were awarded the World Cup.
FIFA Uncovered starts delving back to where football started becoming commercial and it all started when João Havelange came to the helm. He knew the commercial opportunities that could be on offer as he came from an Olympics background and he had seen the sponsorship for these events. He hired Sepp Blatter who became Secretary General of FIFA and worked on bringing in the commercial sponsors and he was very successful at doing this. 1994 was the year where soccer really did become a Global Commercial powerhouse all because of the deals FIFA were making. But Havelange got to greedy and Blatter saw this and he was forced to resign in 2016 due to some shady deals that were going on between himself and some sponsors. Blatter went for the presidency and got it. He ruled over FIFA like a world leader for the next decade. In fact his position was more powerful than some world leaders and countries wined and dined the executive committee in FIFA in order to persuade them to vote for their country to host the world cup.
Now Blatter was the boss but every football country that were affiliated to FIFA were given one vote and were part of a bigger confederation for example UEFA , CONMEBALL, CAF and AFC CONCACAF. The FIFA executives in charge of these federations had lots of power especially Jack Warner who was in charge of CONCACAF in the Carribean. His countries were small but they all had one vote. If he was to become a chief whip of sorts and make his countries all vote one way then he would have massive power into who votes for what country. If the countries who wanted to host the world cup wined and dined the right people or maybe donate a couple of million here or there then the vote would sway to this country. You get my drift. This was rife amongst most FIFA Federations.
I found the way Qatar was awarded that World Cup to be very questionable. The Americans went for it and the look on their faces when they didn't get it. Bill Clinton was shocked so it was no surprise that the Americans went after the executives in an effort to see who was corrupt and who sold their vote. Qatar winning the bid was a disaster for Blatter as he knew corruption got Qatar what they wanted. There were allegations that even France voted for Qatar after pressure from the then French president Nicolas Sarkozy made Platini vote for the Arab Country. Shortly after this the Qatary's purchased PSG.
My mind was blown by all of this. Still Blatter stood tall and refuted any allegations. In my opinion there is a twinkle in Blatters eye during the interview. He is so charming and I think for the most part he didn't take any bribes of such but knew it was happening. But because FIFA was such a global sport it would be difficult to stamp out corruption. As he said Corruption happens in every country. You cannot stop it. I think he was right here. He was disappointed Qatar did get the world cup but he could do little about it. He turned the other cheek slightly but his executive committee were bought.
Chuck Blazer the American flamboyant FIFA executive eventually exposed the bribes and bungs when he was so disappointed with the USA losing the world cup bid. It was Jack Warner who changed his vote to Qatar. He started working with the FBI to bring down his friend and used hidden microphones at meetings to gather evidence which eventually led to a raid at a FIFA convention which led to the arrest of 16 FIFA executives on 27th May 2015.
FIFA uncover is a great watch and I recommend anyone into the Qatar World Cup to watch the documentary. Qatar's World Cup bid that was headed by Al Thawadi is also in the documentary and in fairness to him, he does defend his country well and even comes to tears when talking about how his country is being vilified. Whether they are crocadile tears or not is anyones guess but I kinda liked this guy as well.
In summary I liked the guys who I wasn't meant to like and I could see how many people loved Sepp Blatter. He took the World Cup global and to Africa. Many African officials do not forget this and they will always vote for Blatter so maybe there is some loyalty involved here as well. It is not just black and white like anything.
The world cup is on in Qatar now so I am going to enjoy it. The stadiums look class and the locations look great. And the funny thing is if any one kicks off throwing chairs (not looking at any country in particular 👀) well they will be hung drawn and quartered. And I for one will support this.
2 days to go now. Cannot wait.