Online Discussion “The Ugly Game” on World Cup Scandals

On Thursday, February 11, at 2pm Eastern U.S. time. the Football Scholars Forum is holding an online discussion of The Ugly Game: The Corruption of FIFA and the Qatari Plot to Buy the World Cup by Heidi Blake and Jonathan Calvert.

Blake and Calvert’s book draws on terabytes of leaked FIFA files received from a confidential source to explain how Qatar won the bid competiton to host the 2022 World Cup. The two British investigative reporters focus on the actions of Mohamed Bin Hammam, the Qatari businessman and now-banned FIFA Executive Committee member. The book sheds new light on specific individuals and actions, as well as the Machiavellian nature of international football governance. It also raises many important questions about FIFA governance and structure. With the special presidential election set for February 26 in Zurich, the Football Scholars Forum’s discussion of The Ugly Game should help spark a timely discussion about a post-Blatter FIFA and whether its new leadership will bring about meaningful and long-lasting institutional transformation.

For more information about the Football Scholars Forum and to join the February 11 online conversation, email Alex Galarza (

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