photo of hole in training pitch

Hole in training pitch




photo of brass band playing by training pitch

Deafening . . . the band played on




photo of Chinese spy lurking behind the two-way mirror

'No camera!'







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


Chinese spies lurk behind two-way mirror at Women's World Cup

The IOC Ethics Committee has refused to investigate complaints that FIFA president Sepp Blatter, an IOC member, allowed Chinese officials to get away with a campaign of harassment against women players at the World Cup last year.


The incidents, aimed at disrupting preparations by the Danish team for their game against China culminated in officials attempting to secretly video the women through a two-way mirror.


China’s first game in the tournament last September was against the highly-ranked Danes. Midfielder Anne Dot Eggers said, ‘Chinese officials were videoing our league games in Denmark earlier in the year. That’s OK but when we arrived at our training pitch in Wuhan the grass hadn’t been cut – and never was.


‘Something new happened every day and you started thinking, this is not normal. One morning we arrived to find a hole a metre wide had been dug in the middle of the pitch.’


Anne, a veteran of more than 100 international matches, continued, ‘At one practice session a brass band arrived at the edge of the pitch. They played drums and trumpets so loudly we couldn’t hear our coach’s instructions.’


The team’s training sessions were open to the public – except for the final one. ‘We were practicing set-pieces when we spotted a man filming us from a block of flats,’ said Anne. ‘We got FIFA officials to move him. Then we spotted a second guy filming us rehearsing corner kicks. FIFA didn’t do anything so we stopped practicing and just ran around giving him the finger.’


The day before their game with China they planned a tactics talk in a seminar room at the Howard Johnson hotel. ‘Our officials saw a black mirror on the back wall and were joking, do you think something is going on in there?’ recalled Anne.


They looked hard and saw movement. The hotel manager was called to unlock the door and inside were two men with video cameras.


‘They tried to get out with their cameras and had to be held back by our officials. Then policemen turned up and got the two guys away. It seemed they were protecting them.’


But the Danish women had their own video camera – and caught the embarrassed spies on tape shouting ‘No camera, no camera.’


It was a tough game. China took a two-goal lead, Anne pulled one back with her head in the 51st minute and in the closing minutes referee Dianne Ferreira-James from Guyana, nominated by FIFA vice-president Jack Warner’s regional confederation, handed out two yellow cards to the Danes. They pulled equal in the 87th minute, only to be beaten by another Chinese shot a minute later.


Danish coach Kenneth Heiner-Moller refused to shake hands with China’s coach after the game. He refused to say why, adding, ‘We have made an official complaint to FIFA about things that happened prior to the match.’


That didn’t do him any good. FIFA spokesman Nicolas Maingot announced that Heiner-Moller was suspended for the two remaining Danish games - later he was reinstated for their final match against Brazil.