Soccergate (aka Footballgate) is Episode 3 of the Netflix series Bad Sport , but it provides disappointing coverage on the 2006 match fixing scandal commonly known as “Calciopoli”. I learn something from almost all the documentaries I’ve reviewed, and it is only a very few that leave me with so many questions that I am compelled to do much more research.
Directors Marco La Villa and Mauro La Villa say that this film is about fathers and sons and how football unites generations and allows them to relate to each other. The twin brothers worked on this film for 10 years, after their father, a life long Juventini, passed away without ever attending a Juventus game.
Having already reviewed Fulwell 73’s feature-length film Super Greed (2022), it took me a long time to get around to watching the 4-episode mini-series Super League: The War for Football. After all, how much more does anyone care to learn about a bunch of billionaires for whom football is strictly business. But Oh, what a mistake if I had never watched this Apple TV series. It is a masterpiece.
The Men Who Sold the World Cup was produced and directed by Daniel DiMauro and Morgan Pehme, two fellows who have built their careers with documentaries that explain corruption and evil-doing in a very accessible and entertaining way. This docuseries shows how corruption is cultivated and how difficult it is to capture the bad guys at the top of an organized crime hierarchy like FIFA.
Super Greed: The Fight for Football is the first faithful cinematic telling of the 48-hour debacle known as the European Super League (ESL). It will not be the last.
Looking back to Apr-2021, you might recall the Super League with blurry pandemic memories. But because this documentary is from Fulwell73 and Sky Sports, whose business is to cater to football fans, it is hard-hitting and helps us relive the anguish of those few days. It really is like rubbing an enormous pimple on the foreheads of 12 billionaires, and it is so satisfying when the zits pop.
If you did not have the energy to read the 2014 Garcia Report, the Netflix docuseries FIFA Uncovered is an excellent way to get all the facts in a very visual mode. Director Daniel Gordon interviews journalists, authors, and media experts as well as key principals formerly inside FIFA, and the Qataris who bought the World Cup.
Director Brent Hodge did not intend to make a film about why men enter the Catholic priesthood. At the outset, he and co-director Chris Kelly thought their film would be a comedic pop culture documentary, a movie genre niche that is Hodge’s specialty. They envisioned fat friars sweating in the Vatican-sponsored football tournament known as The Clericus Cup.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Now that WC 2018 has finished in Russia (Congratulations to Les Bleus!), the eyes of the world turn to WC 2022 in Qatar. But as happened with Russia, the eyes of football fans are blind to the exploitation and corruption that FIFA has facilitated for these two tournaments. The Workers Cup might open your eyes a little, but to me, Adam Sobel’s film normalizes the conditions in Qatar.
The 2011 film Soka Afrika got me wondering, how does a player in Africa find the right agent? How do players avoid scams by fraudulent football agents that will turn them into victims of human trafficking?
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.