Photo of Sepp Blatter partying with Russian crime boss

The World Cup in Russia? We can fix it!


Photo of Markus Siegler

We shouldn’t be seen together in public


BBC Panorama logo lwhich links to Part 1 of FIFA's Dirty Secrets

FIFA's Dirty Secrets - PART I


BBC Panorama logo which links to Part 2 of FIFA's Dirty Secrets

FIFA's Dirty Secrets - PART II


Image of BBC Panorama logo

The Script


Photo of Geoff Thompson

England’s FIFA vice-president Geoff Thompson


Image of the FA England bid official logo

Panorama ‘raking over allegations’


Image of the Daily Mail Comment graphic

November 30, 2010



The things they say...

‘Neither FIFA nor its President have anything to hide, nor do they wish to.’

Blatter press release, 28 January, 2003

BBC Panorama Reporter Andy Davies:

‘A one million franc bribe … is it not correct that Mr Blatter asked that it be moved to the FIFA official who was named on the payment slip?’

FIFA Director of Communications Markus Siegler:

‘If you do not stop now, then we call the security and we put you out.’

FIFA Press conference, Zurich, Tuesday, 11 April 2006

‘I am deputy chairman of the finance committee of FIFA. I oversee a budget of US$2 billion and I have never seen one iota of corruption.’

Jack Warner, Trinidad Express 12 December 2004

‘Lying and deception and bad faith are standard operating procedure at FIFA.’

Adam C. Silverstein, a lawyer for MasterCard in their successful action against FIFA, New York, December 1, 2006

‘I do not believe a Jew can ever be a referee at that level (Argentine Premier League) because it’s hard work and, you know, Jews don’t like hard work.’

FIFA senior vice-president and chair of Finance Committee, Julio Grondona, 5 July 2003. Buenos Aires

‘FIFA is a healthy, clean and transparent organisation with nothing to hide. There is huge public interest in FIFA, therefore we have to be as transparent as possible. We will try to communicate in a more open way so the world can believe us and be proud of their federation.’

FIFA General Secretary Urs Linsi, January 2003, on


Did Blatter’s Mob friends fix 2018
for Russia?



Friday December 17, 2010


In January 2009 we revealed Blatter’s private partying with Russian crime boss, Olympic gold medal fixer and key member of Russia’s football elite Alimzhan ‘Alik’ Tokhtakhounov.


The significance of that story is now obvious.


But there’s more. When the English 2018 bid team fired the conman Peter Hargitay and his junior lobbying partner former FIFA media chief Marcus Siegler, the dodgy duo split up.


Siegler went to plot for the Russia 2018 bid, taking with him former FIFA press officer Andreas Herren. Hargitay was hired to manipulate for the Australian bid – and ‘devised’ their bid ‘strategy’ in partnership with his Russian allies.


Russia got it. Australia didn’t. Hargitay got Australia’s money. Siegler will have trousered a Russian bonus. Happy Christmas, drinks all round and Russia’s mobsters and crooked politicians are now eyeing the lucrative construction contacts to come.


Did the English bid team know about the secret, corrupt dealings going on in the background? Yes, they did. Did that stop them squandering at least £15 million on their bid? No it didn’t.


The most important disclosure about the bidding emerged three days after the votes, the tears and the accusations. For 10 months London Mail on Sunday columnist Patrick Collins had suppressed an admission by England bid chief Andy Anson, perhaps while over-refreshed, that his team believed that more than half of FIFA’s Executive Committee could be bribed.


So when England Bid chief - and FIFA vice-president -  Geoffrey Thompson wrote to his ‘dear colleagues’ on the Executive Committee two weeks before the vote, telling them ‘we naturally feel solidarity with you and your colleagues’ we have to wonder if Andy Anson hadn’t told him all he knew. Or Mr Thompson hadn’t spotted that at least half of his colleagues in Zurich had their hands out?


Something else Mr Thompson appeared not to have spotted was FIFA President Blatter’s blatant perversion of the truth about his colleagues and their lucrative involvement in the ISL $100 million contracts kickbacks scandal.


Desperate to undermine the upcoming BBC Panorama programme, Blatter announced that FIFA and the Swiss courts had dealt with the scandal. Wrong on both counts. (See script and Panorama video)


The bribes - and the FIFA bosses who took them - have never been judged by the Swiss courts. And never been investigated by FIFA’s Ethics Committee - or any other FIFA committee.  That’s two indisputable facts.


Here’s another one: Blatter claims that he was cleared by a police investigation. He wasn’t. Definitely not. On the contrary, in June 2010 certain un-named FIFA bosses agreed to repay some of the bribes they had pocketed from the ISL company. Think about it. Herr Blatter has ruled out any FIFA investigation into who they were and how much they pocketed. You might wonder why.


Nonetheless Mr Thomson grovelled to his FIFA colleagues about the imminent BBC Panorama, ‘We are alerting you to fact that the programme appears in part to be raking over allegations some of which are up to 10 years old and have already been formally dealt with by FIFA and the Swiss courts.’(Our italics)


Then the England bid’s pompously titled ‘Chief of Staff’ Simon Greenberg went too far. The day after the Panorama screening, and without consulting his bosses, Greenberg issued a press statement claiming that the programme was ‘an embarrassment to the BBC.’


Enough was enough: London Daily Mail executives saw this nonsense and retaliated with an editorial commentary shredding Greenberg and his loony-tunes boast. Continued...