FIFA corruption: A Whistleblower’s account

Win with TWT: Whatever It Takes, by Bonita Mersiades

When shady types from football’s corruption-tarnished, world governing body, FIFA, visit a national governing body to tell it how to run the sport, you know there’s a problem.

Reps from FIFA and the Asian regional governing body, the AFC, are presently in town to tell Australia’s FFA how to suck eggs amid its worsening governance crisis.

And to better understand the absurdity of this situation, a fortuitously-timed new book probing FIFA corruption has hit the bookstores.

Whatever It Takes: The Inside Story of the FIFA Way, by high-profile whistleblower, Bonita Mersiades* (with a foreword by Andrew Jennings) lifts the lid on how a bid for the greatest show on earth, the FIFA World Cup, works from the inside – an inside that involves what is now known as the murky, corrupt goings-on of world football administration.

As US Senator Richard Blumenthal said, comparing FIFA to the mafia “is almost insulting to the mafia”.

In the more than seven years since the decision to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments, many fine legal minds, investigators, journalists and others have attempted to find out just how Russia, and especially Qatar, managed to pull it off.

“Comparing FIFA to the mafia is almost insulting to the mafia”

As with almost everything to do with the entire World Cup bidding process conducted by FIFA, there is even more to the story than merely about how two nations won. Much more.

It’s the inside story of a losing bid team and the characters around it. It’s the inside story of how the ‘FIFA Way’ – as former US Attorney-General Loretta Lynch referred to it – works. And it shows that when it comes to the greatest prize in world football some people will do whatever it takes.

(* The author, Bonita Mersiades, pictured alongside former FIFA president, Sepp Blatter in Zurich, was a senior executive in the Australian football association (FFA) and a reluctant recruit of the Australian bid team. Having a lifelong background in football, she knew any process run by FIFA was one where the winner would not be determined on merit, but on ‘deals, double-deals and counter-deals’ made in a backroom. She was sacked from her role in January 2010 and became known as one of FIFA’s ‘whistleblowers’.)

HOW TO WIN: Go to our website – weeklytimes.com.au – and click on the WIN STUFF tab and fill out the entry form; or write your name, address and phone number on the back of an envelope and send to TWT Whatever It Takes Book,  PO Box 123, Ryde 1680. Entries close 9am Monday March 5 and winners published March 7.