When FIFA awarded the tiny desert state of Qatar the rights to host the 2022 World Cup, the news was greeted with disbelief and allegations of corruption. How had a country with almost no football infrastructure or tradition, a high terror risk and searing summer temperatures of 50C beaten more established countries with stronger bids? The story behind the Qatari success soon developed into one of the greatest sporting scandals of our time.
And when the Sunday Times Insight team received a cache of hundreds of millions of documents from a whistleblower, the contents of the FIFA Files became a global sensation, unearthing the corruption that lay at the heart of the bidding process.
Now in this remarkable new book by the Sunday Times journalists at the centre of the investigation, Heidi Blake and Jonathan Calvert, comes the most comprehensive account yet of what happened and who was involved. Above all, it explains why, despite all the evidence, FIFA continues to support Qatar - even to the extent of publishing an edited and abbreviated report into the process that was immediately denounced by its original author. Longlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year, The Ugly Game is undoubtedly the biggest sporting story of our times.
Paperback: 496 pages Author: Heidi Blake Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK; UK ed. edition (11 Feb. 2016) Language: English Dimensions: 19.8 x 3.4 x 13.2 cm
About the Author Heidi Blake is a multi-award-winning investigative journalist. She was assistant editor of the Sunday Times, attached to the Insight team, until spring 2015 when she became BuzzFeed's UK investigations editor.
Editorial Reviews 'I would also like to pay tribute to the Insight Team at The Sunday Times without whose investigations, many of these allegations may never have come to light' --John Whittingdale, Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport
'Allegations of shady dealings have long swirled round FIFA...never before has bribe-giving been documented in such graphic detail.' Independent
'[The Ugly Game] offers the most comprehensive account of the affair to date, and asks why Blatter continues to support Qatar despite all the evidence against the desert state.' --Radio Times
'There's an urgency about the storytelling as the authors manage to extract excruciating tension from the unpromising materials available to them' The Secret Footballer
'An explosive account of the biggest World Cup heist since the trophy was nicked in the 1960s' SPORT
'Truly stunning journalism' --FOUR FOUR TWO
'With every page of this book, we see just why FIFA desperately needs a complete overhaul' - Sun