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How FIFA corrupted the World Cup


And how Russia and Qatar took advantage of it.

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On December 2, 2010, FIFA announced the 2022 World Cup would take place in a surprising country, Qatar. At that same meeting, they also announced that the 2018 World Cup would take place in Russia. These selections set off a new chapter in FIFA’s history, one where the public would have a greater sense on how bribery and corruption have a huge role in who gets to host this international sporting event.

The last 14 World Cup locations were decided by a group of 24 powerful men within FIFA called the executive committee. Their votes meant a lot to bidding nations and allegations on bidders bribing members of the committee lingered for decades. These allegations reached a new level when criminal investigations were launched nearly five years after that FIFA announcement. The fallout of these investigations nearly broke FIFA and tainted the World Cup.

Watch the latest episode of Vox Atlas to understand how FIFA corrupted the World Cup host selection process.


We found this book written and edited by dozens of football experts very helpful for understanding the financial history of FIFA and the World Cup:

The Business of the FIFA World Cup edited by Simon Chadwick, Paul Widdop, Christos Anagnostopoulos, Daniel Parnell

We used this research article to create charts showing the World Cup’s financial success in it’s early days:

Financing World Football. A Business History of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) by Heidrun Homburg

This book by one of our experts in the video is a great primer to understanding how both Russia and Qatar won their World Cup bids in 2010:

Whatever It Takes: The Inside Story of the FIFA Way by Bonita Mersiades

We used these FIFA financial reports to determine World Cup revenue since 2002:

This table helped us keep track of the number of votes each bid winner received:

We based our promised stadium maps off locations listed in these bid evaluations:

For more context on why football is important to the Middle East, we recommending checking out this book:

Football in the Middle East: State, Society, and The Beautiful Game by Abdullah AlArian

posted by dulologiasb