All posts by psoendergaard

Video: FIFA Corruption Cost Australia’s World Cup, Reveals Former Top Executive

Bonita Mersiades, former top executive in the Football Federation Australia. Photo: Thomas Søndergaard/Flickr

Though declaring it’s willingness to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022, the lack of transparency in the international football association stood in the way for Australia, says Bonita Mersiades.

As a former top executive in the Football Federation Australia, she had unique insight in the hidden game of winning a major sports event.

See the video below.




”FIFA are a bunch of hypocritical liars”

Walter and Andrew
Walter de Gregorio to the left and Andrew Jennings disagrees on whether FIFA is doing good or bad. Photo: Simon Tordrup

Todays biggest topic at the Play the Game in Aarhus was FIFA’s first ever apperance at the conference.

Walter de Gregorio, FIFA’s director of communication, was the represent for the International Football Federation and among the topics discussed were the election of Russia and Qatar as hosts for the World Cups in 2018 and 2022.

The famous FIFA critical journalist, Andrew Jennings, was present when De Gregorio took the stage and answered questions from the audience.

Accuses FIFA for lying

And Jennings was not impressed by De Gregorios statements.

”FIFA is a bunch of lying crooks. No matter what they say, they are in for the money. They are a bunch of thiefs.” Jennings claims.

There has been a big discussion in the sports world about the election of Russia and Qatar as hosts for the World Cup because of their laws and lack of human rights.

Russia passed a law this year that criminalizes “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations among minors” and has been critized for this from the international society.

Racist chanting in Russia

And last week the Manchester City player Yaya Toure claimed that there was racist chanting from the Russian team CSKA Moscow’s supporters.

Jennings and other critics have expressed that FIFA should take this into consideration about Russias World Cup hosting. But De Gregorio said earlier today at the conference that it isn’t that easy.

“Everybody talks about racism. I completely agree that the problem should be adressed. But what do you do? How do you know that five persons in a stadium being racist are not manipulated. That would be very easy to do. How can you prevent that?” De Gregorio said.

Jennings disagree

But Jennings belives that this is empty talk from FIFA’s side.

”There’s is a problem. We all know that. FIFA could say to Russia: You need to change this because it’s important for us. And if you don’t, then we are not coming. The sport organisations like FIFA have manifestos and mission statements and all this shit where they talk about human rights and respect for people. But they only care about the money.” Jennings said.

”And then we have the homophobic problem. The thing is that they made a law about that gays can’t have same rights. It’s not just an attitude. It’s a law. FIFA should react and say that it isn’t acceptable. But they don’t care about the homophobic law in Russia. For them we are a bunch of liberals making to much noise. It’s not their concern.”

Disagrement on human standards

De Gregorio stressed that countries should have a human minimum standard. But stated that many Western countries also have problems. De Gregorio asked if USA could host with Guantanamo? He also belives that Qatar will make changes, now that the whole world is looking at them.

Not surprisingly, Jennings didn’t agree.

”But theres is a difference between these countries. In the USA you are allowed to demonstrate against Guantanamo. If you demonstrate againt the homophobic law in Russia and in Qatar, who have the same rule, you could go to prison.” Jennings said.

Jennings: FIFA is hypocritical

”Why should Qatar change? They got the World Cup. And obviously they can’t lose it because FIFA don’t care. FIFA is hypocritical. On one hand they have these statements for women rights and they support women football. And on the other hand they give the World Cup to a country where women can’t show their faces. Its a discrase. Its simple: FIFA is a bunch of hypocritical liars,” Jennings says.

You can also watch Andrew Jennings and Walter de Gregorio talking about other FIFA topics in the videos below.




See the Exclusive Interview with Former Match-Fixer Mario Cizmek

The Croatian footballer Mario Cizmek was banned to play football back in 2010 because of his participation in match-fixing.

Cizmek didn’t get paid salary for 14 months at his former club and that led him to the easy money that match-fixing offers.

Watch the exclusive interview below and hear the footballers story.



VIDEO: Critical Sports Journalism is Wanted

The sport industry is one of the fastest growing businesses in the world. However, critical and investigative sport journalism is still a rare sight in mainstream media.

Lars Andersson is the editor in chief of the Danish online magazine Sport Executive. The magazine takes a different focus on the world of sports with stories about human rights, corruption, gender issues and child labor in sports.

Andersson is concerned about the sport reporting done by mainstream media. He is convinced that sport news today mainly serves as entertainment, while the more important aspects of the sport industry gets left out.




Former NBA-Player: The Anti-doping System is Problematic for the Athletes

Walter Palmer, former NBA-player, attacks the inefficiency of the anti-doping system. Photo: Arnela Muminovic

How should we prevent athletes to use doping in sports in the future? That is on of the biggest topics at the Play The Game-conference in Aarhus.

The former NBA-player and current Head og Department for UNI Sport Pro, Walter Palmer,  belives that there is a doping problem.

But no one knows how big it is – not even WADA. And therefore the athletes a paying a price.

Ineffective anti-doping system a burden for athletes

According to Palmer the anti-doping system from WADA is problematic because the system has not been based om evidence up until this point.

”At the moment we do not know if the athletes are being tested too much. The big issue is that we don’t know what the problem is, and how should we find a solution then? We are operating on a assumption, and maybe it is a valid assumption. But we don’t know how widespread it is and that is a problem for the athletes, who are carrying a heavy burden.”

Up to WADA to define the problem

Therefore WADA has to put a lot of effort to fix the existing program and make it better.

”WADA has declared itself being responsible. It has been giving powers and it creates rules. So if you do that, you have to know that you are doing it right. Are we spending the 350 million dollars on testing in the best way? Maybe there are other ways you could do it better and reduce cheating,” Palmer said.

” A good example is the US Postal case. It was a very important investigation and it’s great that they caught Armstrong. But it doesn’t say much about the testing program, and that’s what we are talking about. He wasn’t caught with a test,” Palmer concludes.