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Who took the bribes? FIFA corruption and the ISL

This theme page is dedicated to news about FIFA corruption, with specific focus on the ISL case.

Through its conferences and website, Play the Game has focused closely on FIFA for the past decade. Investigative journalists, academics and sports officials have often debated FIFA critically, while FIFA has consistently declined invitations to join the debates and explain its actions.


In newspaper articles, FIFA  complains its answers have been misrepresented by investigative reporter Andrew Jennings.

Play the Game asked FIFA president Sepp Blatter to answer seven key questions raised by the book and have the answers published unedited on Play the Game’s website.

Read the letter to FIFA and FIFA's reply


Blatter cleared by FIFA ISL examination

30 April 2013

Today the long awaited official FIFA report into the ISL affair was released. The report is written by Hans-Joachim Eckert, head of the FIFA ethics committee's adjudicatory chamber and looks into the ethical responsibilities in...[more]

FIFA president Blatter may have been "clumsy" but his conduct in the ISL case "could not be classified in any way as misconduct with regard to any ethics rules," states FIFA report.

Blatter faces “once in a lifetime opportunity”

04 December 2012

There are six months left of the reform process being carried out by FIFA in the wake of a string of scandals that have seriously damaged the organisation’s credibility. Michael Hershman, one of the key figures on FIFA’s new...[more]

According to member of FIFA's IGC Michael Hershman (photo) the current reform process could be a lifetime opportunity for Blatter. Photo (c) Flickr/OEA-OAS

Unanswered questions and unsung heroes

12 July 2012

Comment: The publication of the ISL dossier leaves FIFA with a number of inconvenient questions, including the most sensitive: Can FIFA accept a president who allowed his allies to steal massive values from his own enterprise?[more]

FIFA's headquarter. Photo: Ed Coyle/Flickr

Council of Europe report slams FIFA, insisting on speedier reforms

23 April 2012

In a report released today the Council of Europe sharpens it tone against FIFA and provides new information about the scale of the corruption that has affected the world governing body of football. The report includes the full...[more]

Photo: Ed Coyle.

Sums of bribes for top FIFA officials exposed at hearing in Brazil

02 November 2011

Within the last month, investigative journalist Andrew Jennings has obtained documents that show the names of sports officials who received a total of 175 secret payments in bribes from the now defunct ISL sports marketing...[more]

Photo: Tine Harden/Play the Game

The Titanic challenge of Joseph S. Blatter

06 June 2011

The FIFA reforms introduced by its re-elected president Blatter may end up increasing corruption rather than stopping it, and there is a real risk of split in the so-called FIFA family[more]

What took you so long?

13 May 2011

FIFA's new anti-corruption initiative leaves a lot to wish for, says match fixing expert and author Declan Hill in this comment where he expresses worries that without money put aside for enforcement and investigation - also into...[more]

INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble and FIFA President Sepp Blatter sign the deal on a new EUR 20 mio. anti-corruption initiative. Photo from Interpol's youtube channel.

Swiss MP calls for anti-corruption legislation

21 January 2011

In the wake of the corruption allegations that clouded the FIFA World Cup elections in December last year, Swiss politicians now want to put pressure on the sports federations currently enjoying tax exemptions and other fiscal...[more]

On 2 December 2010 60 politicians in the Swiss Nationalrat backed an anti-corruption initiative filed by MP Roland Buechel. Photo (c)

FIFA dismisses BBC corruption claims, IOC prepares investigation

30 November 2010

The controversial and much talked about BBC Panorama documentary “FIFA’s Dirty Secrets” aired yesterday evening, naming names of three FIFA officials who were exposed as bribe-takers in the world’s biggest sport corruption case –...[more]

New revelations: FIFA Executives named as ISL bribe-takers

29 November 2010

Three days before the election of the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 football World Cups, new documents have appeared that bring heavy charges against top FIFA officials.[more]

FIFA's headquarter in Zürich. Photo by Flickr user julianlimjl used under a Creative Commons License 2,0

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