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Foul!: The Secret World of FIFA: Bribes, Vote Rigging and Ticket Scandals [Paperback]

Andrew Jennings
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

16 April 2007

Andrew Jennings, an award-winning investigative sports reporter, spent four years delving into the dark side of 'the beautiful game'. The result is this explosive and damning exposé of the officials that run football's world governing body, FIFA , now fully updated with the political fallout from World Cup 2006.

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. Until now.

Author Andrew 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? Foul! is the explosive story.

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 privatization 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.

Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: HarperSport (16 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007208693
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007208692
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 181,800 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'Award-winning reporter Andrew Jennings has led the way investigating corruption in world football' Daily Mail

‘A meticulously researched and detailed dossier into the inner workings of FIFA’ Sunday Business Post

‘In Foul!, Jennings has turned his unerring attention to the bun fight that masquerades as the global governance of football’ Independent

'The appalling Sepp Blatter and his cronies' activities are laid bare in a mind-boggling web of deceit. Essential reading for cynical football fans.' Evening Herald Dublin

About the Author

Andrew Jennings is an internationally respected journalist, writer and film-maker. His seminal book exposing Olympic corruption ‘The Lords of the Rings’ was an international bestseller in 1992. He has written for The Times, Daily Mail, Sunday Times and New Statesman as well as for publications all over Europe. For many years he produced and reported for Granada TV's World in Action and also for BBC radio and television.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love football? Please read this! 29 July 2008
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 inbreakable. 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 discovering the level of curruption that exists in these organisations and I'd recommend as many people as possible 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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase
The most recent work of investigative journalist Andrew Jennings sees him return to his role of detailing the misdemeanours, and attempting to tackle the culprits, of some of Sport's most corrupt and self-serving activities at the highest level of authority. In a similar vein to his previous 'The Great Olympic Swindle', Jennings attempts with gusto to give the reader the background of FIFA, from its earliest days as a largely practical authority for organizing international football, to its current status as an overblown corporation filled with major figures working against each other, copious bribes being doled out to authorities within the game, and an incredible nepotism in positions being given within FIFA - all topics in which Jennings informs the reader with a strong backlogue of facts and statistics. Indeed, it's hard to imagine a more detailed dossier on the underhanded activities within an institution which has gone the same way as Jennings' previous subject, the IOC (International Olympic Committee).

The factual basis of the work is highly impressive and hard to fault, with Jennings clearly having dug deep within the company for many of the facts. The style of the book, however, is more open to criticism, though it will appeal to some. Jenning's narrative flow is reminiscent of a popular crime thriller, with blockbuster openings, and an abundance of descriptions of flash operators, stylish locations and cosy Swiss offices; along with the repeated image of the time bomb ticking over a suspicious payment received at FIFA. The style makes the book easy reading, but tends to create a little too much glossiness and unnecessary bulk for a tale which is hugely entertaining and often shocking, on its own merits.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
An incredible book that keep you gripped from the first page to the last word. I finished this in a little over 24 hours including being at work for 10 hours in the middle of it.

Jennings portrays a corporation that is corrupt from the top to the bottom and throughout the world. Even if 50% of it is wrong (which I don't believe it is) then fans around the world paying ludicrously high prices for tickets should continue to boo Blatter and all his cronies every time they make an appearance.

Footballers should boycott the World player of the year awards to show their disapproval (but we know they won't because they themselves love the money to much).

Given FIFA's denial that any wrong doing has ever happened I don't know where Jennings will go next. However if he needs any support then any true football supporter should read this book and then do everything they can to support him in his efforts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done Andrew Jennings. 28 Nov 2011
Although i had taken an interest into the egotistical Sepp Blatter over many years, i was not aware of the depth of dishonesty, Andrew illustrates throughout the book.
Moreover, the book provides a real insight into how tyrannical Blatter can be, but suprisingly how others can also give in to temptation when a little power and a pile of dollars is within grasp.
Several names dragged through the dirt are the ususal types of Texeira, Warner and the usual shady motley crew, but there are others i didnt expect, that are as corrupt as Blatter if that is possible.....Joao Havelange for one is / was as shady as they come.
Andrews book is one of those that has you shaking your head at the injustice of it all, and leaves you yearning for some form of retribution, but alas he is as the book total control of his own destiny, and who are we to question such a hard working, committed, dedicated, loyal will be left wanting to throw away the key.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Capitalism in Football... 5 Feb 2008
This book is about the entry of big money into football. The rest is not unusual: When capitalism enters a field it brings with itself large amounts of unaccounted for money, double dealing, political judgements, doping, vote rigging etc. The world football governing body is as corrupted as any other institution playing with money. Money laundring, political gain, sponsorship all follow in. The great game which the workers started now is reachable to them only on pay-to-watch TV stations. The important names to be found in the book are Dassler family, Sepp Blatter, Samaranch, coup leaders of Argentina, Coca Cola etc. Thumbs up for Andrew Jennings who unveiled the infamous circle.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Selective memory on Sir Stanley
This is probably very well researched and I would have given it 3 stars if it wasn't for the chapter on Stanley Rous. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Bluepencilreview
5.0 out of 5 stars Sick, Sick FIFA.
I still can't believe that any organization can be as sick as FIFA is shown to be in this revealing novel. Read more
Published on 6 Mar 2012 by Denny
4.0 out of 5 stars Foulplay?!
Very good read. Would recommend this book to anyone with a slight interest in football or any other sports. Delves into the murky depths of FIFA.
Published on 1 Dec 2011 by Kriss
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, troubling, but not always convincing
That corruption exists within FIFA and has done from years is unsurprising, given recent news about the voting for the 2018 and 2022 world cups, and Sepp Blatter's unopposed... Read more
Published on 12 Jun 2011 by M. V. Clarke
2.0 out of 5 stars The Daily Mail and Little Englanders Take on FIFA
This book by a former Daily Mail reporter is similar to "The Lords of the Rings" which he co-wrote about the goings-on behind the scene at the International Olympic Committee. Read more
Published on 17 Mar 2011 by John Fitzpatrick
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book this!
Very good read, written almost in the style of a story. In hindsight, though, it is even more revealing considering awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. Read more
Published on 13 Feb 2011 by M. smith
4.0 out of 5 stars big business meets soccer
Going by the recent spate of reviews I think alot of people, like me, got this book in response to Englands failed bid for 2018 and its a pity that the book only goes up to 2005,... Read more
Published on 3 Feb 2011 by Jimbo 1962
4.0 out of 5 stars FIFA's corruption laid bare
They should have passed a copy of this book to the English FA before they bid for the 2018 World cup as they would have realised they never had a chance of getting it and that it... Read more
Published on 15 Jan 2011 by Mr. M. J. Davies
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good book bought for my partner
This is a very interesting book which bought for my partner he loves and read in three days he couldnt put it down once he started reading it.
Published on 6 Jan 2011 by sammy
5.0 out of 5 stars Blatter
Must Read.
An incredible expose of FIFA. Jobs for the boys, accountable to no-one.
No wonder the 2018 and especialy 2022 bid process was so outrageous. Read more
Published on 6 Jan 2011 by Graham880
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