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


The documents that FIFA doesn’t want
fans to read


By Andrew Jennings


Saturday December 18, 2010


One of the most shocking episodes during the England bid to host the World Cup occurred more than a year ago.


In secret the Labour Government, with the agreement of the opposition Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties, agreed to grant FIFA an astonishing list of concessions in return for the right to bid to stage the tournament.


Attempts to obtain these Government Guarantees were rejected by the Treasury and by the Department of Culture, Media & Sport. FIFA had instructed they must be kept secret – and the British Government bowed to Herr Blatter’s demands. Requests by British citizens under Freedom of Information were refused.




Every nation bidding to host 2018 or 2022 was given the same Government Guarantees by FIFA and ordered to sign them. Herr Blatter also made clear that any failure to submit to his detailed demands could lead to bids being disqualified.


Below is a selection of confidential documents - plus some of the booster material generated by the English FA. Then, some academic studies of how the public are sold events like the World Cup by sports officials who stand to earn very large fees if the bid wins.


Football fans who unquestioningly backed World Cup bids might find the attacks on our laws and taxes by Herr Blatter, aided by English officials, enlightening. These documents might also interest students of mega-events.


The English FA and the British Government obeyed Herr Blatter’s orders and kept the Government Guarantees secret. They may have asked permission to make changes. But we don’t know - that is also a state secret.


When the Dutch Government and the Dutch football association tried to keep FIFA’s secrets there was an outcry led by politicians of Left and Right. So what was denied to citizens in Britain was fully available in Holland and debated in their Parliament.


Let’s look at them. They all begin with pages of definitions before we get to the real substance. In each case, we have highlighted a few controversial points. There’s plenty more to discover . . .


And then many more documents – many of which are still being kept secret – dealing with the details of what host cities have to deliver to FIFA.

continued . . .