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What does the Netflix documentary ‘FIFA Uncovered’ reveal about Sepp Blatter and corruption?

A four part Netflix documentary series lifts the lid on the murky world of FIFA and how corruption was rife inside the organization.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter looks on as fake dollar notes fly around him, thrown by a British comedian during a press conference at the FIFA world-body headquarter's in Zurich. -

Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter features prominently in the new Netflix four-part documentary ‘FIFA Uncovered’ as all four episodes are released on the eve of the 2022 Qatar World Cup getting underway.

In 2010 FIFA voted for the 2022 tournament to be staged in the small but gas rich Gulf nation prompting much outcry amdid calls for investigation in as to how the executive committee voted for a nation with little or no football culture or heritage.

Sepp Blatter
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Sepp Blatter AFP

Tepid FIFA sponsored investigations have failed to lead to any concise conclusion that there was any wrongdoing with the Qatari bid but in May 2015 the US indicted 14 former FIFA officials and associates on charges of “rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted” corruption following a major inquiry by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) which led to subsequent detentions.

Blatter, who became FIFA president in 1998 is asked in the documentary about how he feels that only one of the 2010 22 man executive committee are still in the position with the bulk serving temporary or lifetime bans and bats the question into touch claiming that he cannot be held responsible for the acts of ‘others from different nations and cultures’.

The Lusail Iconic Stadium
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The Lusail Iconic Stadium Anadolu AgencyGetty

Blatter: ‘Holding the World Cup in Qatar is a mistake’

Speaking recently to a Swiss daily Blatter did acknowledge that: “The World Cup in Qatar is a mistake,” adding that “the choice was bad.”

“It is too small of a country. Football and the World Cup are too big for it,” Blatter said of Qatar, the first country in the Middle East to host the tournament.

Blatter, who was cleared of fraud charges by a Swiss court earlier this year over financial misconduct allegations, maintains he never personally voted for Qatar to hold the event.

The most poignant moment in the Netflix documentary comes from a declaration from former Fifa media director Guido Tognoni when he states. “If you ask if Fifa can ever get away from corruption, you have to ask if the world can ever get away from corruption,” he says. “No, it can’t. As it is structured now: no. Not possible.”