Sunday, 30 December 2007

You write fiction

That's the quote attributed to Joseph Blatter that appears on the back of Foul! by Andrew Jennings (Harper Collins, 2007), probably one of the most controversial books about football every written. Jennings exposes a culture of endemic corruption that runs throughout all facets of the largest sporting body in the world, FIFA. He is particularly scathing on his main targets, Sepp Blatter and Jack Warner. Other continental federations also rate a mention and Asia's very own Mohamed Bin Hammam cops a spray.

Both Hamish and The Football Tragic have posted excellent reviews on this book, which are probably much better than anything I can hope to write and I would be repeating much of what they have to say. I have probably the benefit of reading a slightly later edition which now includes the Jack Warner ticketing scandal of the 2006 World Cup and the VISA/Mastercard sponsorship farce that preceded that event. For those that have read the slightly early edition, it is certainly worth having a look at these couple of new chapters.

I highly recommend this book for all lovers of our beautiful game as it is a well written expose by one of the best investigative journalists going around. The first chapter is one of the most enthralling pieces of writing that I have come across. My only criticism of the book is that Jennings tends to repeat facts and stories in various parts of the book which tends to be a tad annoying at times.

If you want to keep up to date, with Andrew Jennings ongoing investigations into FIFA in both print and on film, check out Transparency In Sport.


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