Lords of Soccer

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Category: Soccer

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Soccer is the most popular sport in the world. It boasts some 250 million players in 200 nations. It's the sport of the people. At the top of the professional pyramid is FIFA - a somewhat mysterious group of elite businessmen who promote the sport and organize the biggest international contest on earth, the World Cup. The contest generates billions in revenue and attracts billions of fans.

But behind the spectacle lurks an ugly truth.

Episode Date
3. The Indictments
In December 2010, FIFA President Sepp Blatter, surrounded by celebrities and politicians from around the globe, announced that Russia and Qatar would host the next two World Cup tournaments. The news shook the world. The choice of two authoritarian regimes, with troubling human rights records and little if any soccer infrastructure, set off alarm bells. How could this happen? Among those asking the question, federal agents in the United States who decided to take a closer look at soccer’s governing body. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 30, 2022
2. The Raid
The five-star Baur-Au-Lac Hotel in Zurich, Switzerland caters to the world’s elite. Among its regular patrons, members of FIFA, which has its headquarters nearby. In May of 2015, just as the sun rose over bucolic Lake Zurich, authorities raided the hotel. The corrupt empire the Lords of Soccer had built was crashing down around them. Many FIFA’s biggest names would find themselves in handcuffs, led out by Swiss police as part of a raid that took down more than a dozen soccer officials, indicted on a range of charges, from money laundering to racketeering. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 23, 2022
1. The Inside Man
Chuck Blazer was one of the most powerful men in international soccer - or football, as most of the world knows it. As a member of FIFA’s executive committee, he was among an elite few who managed the World Cup, the globe’s ultimate sporting competition. To his fellow Lords of Soccer, Blazer was loyal; and like many of them, he was utterly corrupt. In November 2011, two federal agents stopped the eccentric sports executive outside his Trump Tower apartment. They offered him a deal - spill the tea on FIFA’s secret world of bribes and money laundering or go to prison for tax fraud. Blazer took the deal, setting in motion the largest international corruption investigation in history. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 16, 2022
Introducing: The Lords of Soccer
See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 01, 2022