“FIFA Uncovered”

Regina Robert, Staff Writer

In 2015, 14 members of the International Federation of Football Association (FIFA) were arrested on 47 counts of “racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies … to enrich themselves through the corruption of international soccer.” Daniel Gordon’s four-episode Netflix documentary “FIFA Uncovered” depicts the rise and fall of the organization’s corruption from the founding of FIFA to the 2015 investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.

  The documentary follows the organization’s beginning and its initial connections to governments and politics, such as the 1978 World Cup in Argentina. A Cup was hosted while the country was in economic and social turmoil due to the dictatorship at the time. This first episode focuses on FIFA’s involvement — and lack thereof — in allowing countries to commit atrocious human rights violations “because [FIFA does not] do politics.”

  Part of the greatness of the documentary is shown in episode two through the interviewees. The story of FIFA and its impact is told by sports anchors, authors, foreign representatives, former members of the Executive Committee, football players from past Cups and FIFA’s eighth president, Sepp Blatter, who was the incumbent during the investigation. Usually, when documentaries are narrated from multiple perspectives, it can cause inconsistencies in the story, but it is the multiple perspectives that give Gordon’s “uncovering” credibility. It also creates structure and flows from episode to episode.

Episode three dives into the corruption rumors following the election results of the host countries of the World Cup 2018 and 2022. The episode shows the reaction of the soccer world to Russia and Qatar winning the bid against the U.K. and the U.S. With mostly negative reactions to the results, claims that Qatar bought the votes of other countries added to the investigation that would stain the friendly image of the biggest soccer organization in the world.

  The last episode closely follows the corruption investigation on Chuck Blazer, one of the people heavily responsible for the corruption that blackened FIFA’s once-friendly roots. The last 15 minutes nicely tie a bow on the investigation and history of corruption, money laundering and fraud that would destroy the faith and respect of the largest organization that vowed to protect the principles of respect and fairness of the biggest sport in the world.