David Cameron and Prince William condemned in leaked FIFA bribery and corruption report

FIFA is the scandal-haunted governing body for world soccer/football; their internal report on corruption has leaked and it reveals a widespread culture of bribery and other corrupt practices. Read the rest

Sepp Blatter, disgraced former FIFA president, to serve on panel about fixing FIFA

As Swiss police once again raid the comically-corrupt international Soccer organiation FIFA, its disgraced and banned former president, Sepp Blatter, is to join a panel to discuss how it could be reformed.

Blatter will appear with former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Luis Moreno Ocampo at the University of Basel on April 15th for a discussion on how FIFA can transition through its current crisis. The very crisis he himself presided over and helped create. Makes sense!

The University of Basel seems to know just how outrageous an idea this is. Their description of Blatter is as follows:

"From 1981 to 1998 Joseph S. Blatter was FIFA's secretary general and acted as its president from 1998 until his resignation. Blatter initiated reforms to fight corruption within the FIFA, while at the same time he was repeatedly confronted with allegations of corruption and misconduct."


It's a win-win. There aren't enough TV celebrity panel shows for all the folks who want to be on them, and colleges and conventions are desperate to get people who will actually generate attendance for their events. Read the rest

Qatar's World Cup stadium is being built by modern slaves

Qatar, one of the worst places in the world to be a worker (even the flight attendants experience human rights abuses), was picked to host the 2022 football world cup by the famously corrupt FIFA organization, despite the physical danger to spectators (and athletes!) from the incredible temperatures. Read the rest

Sepp Blatter banned from FIFA for 8 years

Hilariously corrupt soccer governing body FIFA has finally made a scapegoat of suspended president Sepp Blatter, banning him from the organization for 8 years. He is defiant, reports CNN, demanding to know what he was banned for.

It's for all the corruption, silly!

Blatter said he was being treated like a "punching ball" and maintained he was still the FIFA President and "a man of principles."

"I'm really sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry that I am still somewhere a punching ball," the 79-year-old said at a press conference at FIFA's former headquarters at Sonnenberg, Zurich.

"I'm sorry for me for, how I'm tainted in this world of humanitarian qualities," Blatter added.

Actor Tim Roth, who starred as Blatter in a gloriously mistimed and largely FIFA-funded biopic, said the film is awful and that he only did it to put his kids through college. United Passions is lowest-grossing film in U.S. history to receive a general release, according to Wikipedia. Read the rest

FIFA President Sepp Blatter prosecuted

FIFA, the comically corrupt governing body of international soccer, has suffered hard times of late: several executives were collared by the law, it became apparent that World Cup hosting rights floated on a sea of bribery, and an expensively-financed biopic of glorious leader Sepp Blatter bombed at the box office. Read the rest

Just how badly did that FIFA movie bomb?

The Tim Roth-starring biopic of Sepp Blatter, president of comically corrupt soccer body FIFA, is shrouded in mystery. Partly, this is because no-one's watched it. But the movie, funded largely by FIFA itself, has done so badly that final numbers are hard to come by.

David Goldenberg tried to nail down its performance:

The math isn’t complicated so much as it is shrouded in blind spots. Here’s what we know: The movie made $918 — total — in its opening weekend … and maybe nothing after that. All the reporting and most of the databases2 show it finishing with that figure. Most movies make 70 percent of their sales during the weekend,3 which would make the real tally for “United Passions” slightly more than $1,310 if it followed that pattern.

But even if we give the movie the benefit of the doubt and assume it made $1,310, it still opened in way more theaters than the other movies that grossed this little.

However, it made a whopping $178,000 worldwide. It had a budget somewhere around $20,000,000. Read the rest

Watch a British prankster shower corrupt FIFA chief Sepp Blatter with fake bank notes

No one expects a shower of fake bank notes.

FIFA: John Oliver mocks allegedly corrupt official in style

Worth it for the eminently GIFable pyrotechnics. Previously.

Read the rest

FIFA president may not resign after all

Hilariously and horrifically corrupt, FIFA could at least look forward to new leadership following president Sepp Blatter's resignation. Or, maybe not. Read the rest

FIFA movie about how awesome FIFA is earns $607 in theaters

A perfectly-timed movie, presenting FIFA president Sepp Blatter as a valorous anticorruption crusader, has raked in $607—six hundred and seven dollars—at theaters in America.

The movie, United Passions, cost about $29,000,000 to make, with most of the financing provided by FIFA itself.

It stars Tim Roth (!) as Blatter, who took over as president in 1997, and Sam Neill (!) as the predecessor who hired him. The film portrays FIFA as a noble but flawed organization, finally knocked into shape by Blatter's insistence on rooting out corruption.

The film has received some tough reviews. Some have called it FIFA propaganda and others say it's chock-full of unintentional campiness. The Times' Michael Rechtshaffen wrote the movie "comes across as a squirm-inducing heap of propaganda at its most self-congratulatory." The New York Times wrote: "'United Passions' is one of the most unwatchable films in recent memory, a dishonest bit of corporate-suite sanitizing that’s no good even for laughs."

In the real world. Blatter announced his resignation last week, after Swiss and U.S. authorities raided the organization and arrested numerous officials.

Not all is lost: according to Bloomberg Business, the flick made $178,000 in other markets. So only about $28.8m is lost, which is nothing new when it comes to FIFA and other people's money. Read the rest

Sepp Blatter announces that he has started work on FIFA reform

The Associated Press is reporting that Sepp Blatter, the resigning president of splendidly corrupt soccer governing body FIFA, has "started work on reforming FIFA amid corruption crisis." Read the rest

FIFA: Sepp Blatter resigns

After winning a fifth term as FIFA president last week, Sepp Blatter has nonetheless resigned amid mounting pressure on soccer's astoundingly corrupt governing body.

Someone's squealing.

Here's John Oliver from this weekend, explaining the situation.

Read the rest

FIFA: Sepp Blatter promises to fix the corrupt organization he's been in charge of for 17 years

There's something wonderful in the sententious pomp of soccer ruling body FIFA's elections, contrasted against a reputation for corruption brought to new grossness by this week's indictment of officials by the U.S. Justice Department and Swiss cops.

The latest: elections will go to an exciting second round after a challenger, Prince Ali Bin al-Hussein, managed to gain enough votes to prevent Blatter getting two-thirds of the total, the necessary threshold for a quick win. But "Blatter gains 133 to Prince Ali's 73" suggests a doomed resistance, given that only half the votes will now be needed.

"It feels a little bit like we’re watching a terrible game of bingo," reports The Guardian's liveblogging team.

Update: Prince Ali withdrew, meaning Blatter was elected without opposition in the second round. Read the rest

The best explainer on FIFA corruption right now may be this old Reddit thread

Because criminal conspiracies are complicated.

Swiss cops' dawn raid snags top FIFA officials

Six top executives of international football's (notoriously corrupt) governing body were arrested at the crack of dawn in their Zurich hotel by Swiss police acting on a US criminal corruption warrant. Read the rest

Qatar "bought" World Cup, writes FIFA chief

FIFA secretary Jerome Valcke wrote that Qatar, winner of the rights to host the 2022 World Cup, "bought" it. After a Qatari potentate launched a bid to become president of FIFA itself, Valke emailed a colleague that Mohamed bin Hammam "thought you can buy FIFA as they bought the world cup." The Guardian has a photo of a bag of cash one football official claims that bin Hammam sent him. Read the rest

Wired News tells how to watch FIFA World Cup for free online

A while back, law firm Baker & McKenzie sent Boing Boing a snippy letter warning us not to do something we wouldn't do even if they begged us -- broadcast live streams of the FIFA World Cup.

I wonder if Baker & McKenzie will send Wired News a letter complaining that Wired News is facilitating piracy for explaining a variety of ways in which FIFA World Cup fans can enjoy live video streams of the tournament on their computers without paying the rightsholder, Infront Sports & Media?


(Image courtesy groovehouse of The Grooveblog.) Read the rest