Why Netflix is ​​the best documentary about the World Cup in Qatar

Before the start of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, documents are piling up on this topic. Netflix’s premium documentary ‘FIFA Uncovered’ explains how FIFA has gone astray in the past.

“It was hard to explain why Qatar won the contract at the time,” former FIFA media chief Guido Tognoni said in the four-part documentary on Netflix “FIFA Uncovered.” By “that time”, the current amount of FIFA is meant by 2010, when the FIFA was long suspected of corruption. Of all the places, the Executive Committee voted for tiny Qatar, a very controversial country when it comes to human rights, as the place, with temperatures reaching 40 to 50 degrees in summer. mad? No, it actually only makes sense – if you get to know the “FIFA System” as per this documentary. Tognani analyzes: “If you condemn Qatar for hosting the World Cup, you should also condemn FIFA, because it is their system. The system of FIFA.”

To understand how FIFA became what it is today, I highly recommend these four 50-60 minute documentary episodes on Netflix. The production of two-time Academy Award winner John Battsek (“Searching For Sugar Man” and “One Day In September”) feels like a thrill, especially in its first two episodes, achieving something very special that is usually lost in criticism. from FIFA. It is clear how the FIFA became a corrupt system in the first place. Because until the 1970s, I was kind of like the UN soccer: poor, but committed to justice and goodness.

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FIFA’s first sin

The man’s downfall began in 1974 with the election of Brazilian sports official Joao Havelange as FIFA President. The son of an arms dealer who emigrated from Belgium, he was a multi-talented athlete as well as later a puppeteer and businessman: Havelange was a swimmer at the 1936 Berlin Olympics and a water polo player at the 1952 Helsinki Games. From 1974 FIFA was marketed under his leadership. Havelange’s marketing man was Sepp Blatter, who struck his first big deal with Coca-Cola. He was soon followed by Horst Dassler, son of Adi Dassler and Adi Dassler, who is credited with inventing modern sporting corruption through his marketing agency International Sport and Leisure (ISL), which “worked closely” with Havelange’s FIFA.

FIFA’s second biggest sin came when the 1978 World Cup was held in Argentina, where one of the world’s most brutal dictatorships ruled the sport and used it for its own purposes. “Today, sports laundry is a big issue,” says David Kohn, a journalist for the British newspaper “The Guardian” and author of “The Fall of the House of FIFA” in the documentary. “And when you look at the 1978 World Cup, the 1936 Olympics and now, it becomes even more alarming. The sport is basically bought by regimes with human rights problems, rather than by using force to oppose it.”

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Argentina wrote the script for the fall of man, and Berlin in 1936 was a model at the time. The fact that more World Cup trophies for unjust nations like Russia (2018) and Qatar (2022) only made sense in the FIFA system, because since Havelange seized power in 1974, trophies have always been given to those who pay the best.

The starting point of the documentary is the arrest of FIFA officials shortly before the election of the FIFA President in Zurich in 2015. At that time, television images such as those from the Mafia movie were also shown in German news, including “ARD focus”. The suit wearer was escorted out the back doors of the luxury hotel Baur au Lac sheltered by bed sheets. Loretta Lynch, then the US Attorney at the time, gave information at a press conference shortly thereafter: 14 high-ranking members of FIFA had allowed bribery to be taken over a long period of time. In relation to the venues of the World Cup, in relation to broadcasting rights and the leadership of the World Federation.

Each association has one vote

But why does European football, whose understanding of democracy is at odds with the opaque work of the world federation, not have a greater influence on FIFA’s decisions? After all, almost all the top players and clubs in their homeland are in Europe. This is also exceptionally explained in the documentary: In the FIFA system, which by the way is a kind of club that only has to follow its own rules, each country has the right to vote. So a small island nation from the Caribbean is as powerful as Germany or Brazil.

This unanimous law also opened the door to “bizarre” FIFA decisions under Havelange (from 1974), Blatter (from 1998) and now Gianni Infantino (since 2016): South America with its great footballers Brazil and Argentina has only ten votes, but North America includes And Central, with several Caribbean nations, is about 30. No wonder a good part of this “mafia saga” on Netflix is ​​about officials from this part of the world who are now well-known scandal heroes like Jack Warner or Chuck Blazer.

The awarding of the World Cup to Qatar is also very well analyzed and concluded, especially in Episode III, which makes “FIFA Uncovered” – also due to the clear narration and high-quality images – perhaps currently the best presentation of important information about the controversial World Cup. Sepp Blatter also gave extensive interviews to this documentary. However, he is not aware of any guilt. Instead, the 86-year-old’s eyes still light up when he talks about his work at FIFA: “I never took or asked for money,” he, who has never been convicted by a court, says in the documentary series. And: “I didn’t ask FIFA to give me more. They did.”


source: teleschau – der mediendienst GmbH

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