After nearly fifteen years of investigative reporting, London journalist Andrew Jennings has finally witnessed the public decline of FIFA based on his allegations of corruption, organized crime, and over $150 million in dirty money. For Jennings, FIFA ruined the peoples’ sport, and he intends to watch them pay.
What to Know
In 2002, Andrew Jennings became increasingly aware that something was not quite right within the Federation Internationale de Football Association. After the FIFA president, Sepp Blatter, was reelected in that same year, Jennings attended the press conference held in the Zurich headquarters and ambushed him with a question: “…have you ever taken a bribe?” Blatter, of course, denied any allegations at the time; but merely six weeks later, Jennings was supplied with enough documentation from a FIFA official to open up an even bigger can of worms.
FIFA’s executive committee, with Blatter at the head, had been awarding themselves secret bonuses for opulent, materialistic items such as private jets and shopping sprees. The association was corrupt to its very core. In 2006, Jennings published his first book regarding the matter, titled, “Foul! The Secret World of FIFA: Bribes, Vote Rigging and Ticket Scandals”. His work went so far as to accuse top soccer executives, including Blatter, of accepting bribes. In response to these aggressive and damning allegations, the FBI reached out to Jennings in an attempt to help stop the madness that had been going on for so many years.
With the help of the United States, Jennings was finally able to take down the organization that brought shame to the peoples’ sport. On the morning of May 27, 2015, Swiss officials arrived in Zurich at a meeting of FIFA’s top executives where they were deciding whether or not Blatter would remain president. Unbeknownst to them, minutes later would result in the arrest of seven current FIFA execs on charges of racketeering, bribery, money laundering, and fraud. Along with them, seven other men, including FIFA vice president Jack Warner, were indicted in a Brooklyn federal court. For Jennings, justice has finally been served, and he has his undying resolve and honest journalism to thank for it.