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).

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‘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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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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‘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?

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‘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.

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