Categories
Documentary

‘Fixed!’ (2020) – how to play the match-fixing game

Fixed, a Football Comedy (2020)
Fixed, a Football Comedy (2020)

Once you’ve served prison time for match fixing, what is the easiest way to keep making money? Claim yourself notorious, become a consultant, and get paid to give interviews about corruption in FIFA. 

The story of match-fixer Wilson Raj Perumal first broke in 2010, when as a FIFA Match Agent, Perumal arranged an international friendly between Bahrain and a fake team from Togo. The resulting outrage brought the match-fixing to light.

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Notes

Notes: The Garcia Report details FIFA corruption on every page

SoccerMovieMom logo

It is incredibly unfortunate that media like the Washington Post and the NY Times downplayed the 2014 Garcia Report, with headlines saying that there was “no smoking gun”. Virtually every page in this independent report from Michael Garcia’s Investigatory Chamber details FIFA’s corrupt methods in selecting the sites for WC 2018 and WC 2022.

I’ve reviewed several movies about FIFA corruption, but this document clearly lays out  in business details and email flows, the operational procedures that comprise FIFA’s corrupt practices, and how an investigator breaks it all down.

Categories
Documentary

‘The FIFA Family’ (2017) – a never-ending corruption story

Thank DR, the Danish Broadcasting Corporation, for bringing the stories of Chuck Blazer and the corruption behind the Qatar World Cup to the public in such an easily digestible form.The FIFA Family: A Love Story dissects how Blazer’s plea deal to become an undercover informant led to the arrest of 6 members of the FIFA Executive Committee (Ex-Co) on May 27, 2015.

Categories
Documentary

Shakhtar Donetsk is ‘The Other Chelsea’ (2010)

The Other Chelsea: A Story from Donetsk (2010)

Although The Other Chelsea is 10 years old, it is a valuable film to watch in the context of today’s impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump. First-time Writer-Director Jakob Preuss lays out the struggling lives of coal miners in Donetsk and compares them to Kolya, a young rising local politician and businessman who drives a Lexus and drinks very old cognac. What ties them together is the success of their football team, FC Shakhtar Donetsk (Шахта́р Донецьк).

Categories
Documentary

‘Foul Play’ (2017) – it’s easy to fix matches in Indonesia

Director Suridh Hassan put together this documentary about corruption in Southeast Asian football, mostly covering Indonesia. He follows the season of UK manager Simon McMenemy, who coaches Indonesian side Mitrar Kukar FC. He also conducts interviews with a youth coach, a physio, and a journalist who explain how easy and pervasive match fixing is in the area. The bottom line is: Don’t bet on games in Indonesia and Singapore.

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Documentary

So many ways to cheat in ‘Dirty Games’ (2016)

Dirty Games (2016)

As sports fans, we should all thank Director Benjamin Best for his investigative journalism. We like to think that the games on which we spend so much time, money, and emotion, are equally true to us, the fans and supporters.

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Documentary

More FIFA corruption in ‘The March of the White Elephants’ (2015)

March of the White Elephants (2015)

In The March of the White Elephants, Director Craig Tanner continues the work he began with his first film, exposing the societal insanity of spending billions on stadiums for a one month soccer party.

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Documentary

Romanian corruption in ‘Craiova versus Craiova’ (2016)

Craiova versus Craiova (2016)

What is the most extraordinary aspect of the documentary Craiova versus Craiova? It’s not that 2 teams claimed to be the same club and then played each other in the Romanian Second Division. What’s amazing is that this excellent film was created by a student as his senior journalism project at a Brazilian university. Director João Vítor Roberge was 22 years old when he released this 45 minute film last year.

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Documentary

Another Russian oligarch story in ‘The Romanov Revolution’ (2005)

Vladimir Romanov

Evil Russian men come in many stereotypes: dictators, KGB, hackers, hooligans, doping athletes, oligarchs, and football team owners. The Romanov Revolution is a 2005 BBC Frontline Scotland TV documentary about Vladimir Romanov, then new owner of Heart of Midlothian FC, in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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Documentary

‘Planet FIFA’ (2016) 40 years of corruption in 94 minutes

Planet FIFA (2016)

Thank Jean-Louis Pérez for making this documentary. La Planète FIFA is an easy way to trace 40 years of corruption in 94 minutes. Perez specializes in documentaries that center on money and economics as the root of evil, and FIFA gives him plenty of fertile soil to till.

Categories
Documentary

‘World Cup Soccer in Africa: Who Really Wins?’ (2010)

World Cup Soccer in Africa: Who Really Wins? (2010)

Originally titled Fahrenheit 2010, this film provides reams of detail on the issues and controversy around hosting the FIFA 2010 World Cup in South Africa. In Nov-Dec 2008, first-time Director Craig Tanner interviews leaders on both sides in the country.

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Documentary

‘Coach Zoran’ (2014) – his only South Sudanese friend is a goat

Coach Zoran and his African Tigers (2014)

Watching the BBC documentary Coach Zoran and his African Tigers is like watching a train wreck, where the runaway locomotive is the Serbian coach of the new South Sudan national team.

Categories
Drama

‘United Passions’ (2014) – tyrant Sepp Blatter’s biopic

United Passions (2014)

Surprise, surprise. The FIFA Movie — otherwise known as F2014, Film 2014, A Men’s Dream, and finally, United Passions — is not bad. Yes, the movie is a conceit, and yes, FIFA shamelessly portrays English football bureaucrats as racist, sexist, and classist “English Bastards”.

To make sure we get those messages, they are repeated a few times. But can you watch it and withhold your anger towards FIFA’s epidemic  corruption?

Categories
Cultural Documentary

The culture of Argentine ‘Fútbol Violencia, S.A.’ (2009)

Futbol Violencia image from Amazon

Sometimes I don’t learn much from watching a soccer movie, but it confuses me enough that I research the subject to understand what the movie was really about. Fútbol Violencia S.A. (Football Violence, Inc.) is such a movie.

Categories
Drama

‘Pilkarski Poker’ (1989) how to bribe Polish referees

Pilkarski Poker (1989)

In Pilkarski Poker (aka Soccer Poker), Laguna is a former star player who has risen to the top of the referee ranks despite his drinking. A co-op of owners bribes him to make calls that will ensure which team will win the premier league and which will be relegated. But Laguna hasn’t taken bribes before, and all is not as it seems.