13 episodes

Soccer is the most popular sport in the world. It boasts some 250 million players in 200 nations. It's the sport of the people. At the top of the professional pyramid is FIFA - a somewhat mysterious group of elite businessmen who promote the sport and organize the biggest international contest on earth, the World Cup. The contest generates billions in revenue and attracts billions of fans.

But behind the spectacle lurks an ugly truth.

Lords of Soccer iHeartPodcasts

    • Sports
    • 4.6 • 121 Ratings

Soccer is the most popular sport in the world. It boasts some 250 million players in 200 nations. It's the sport of the people. At the top of the professional pyramid is FIFA - a somewhat mysterious group of elite businessmen who promote the sport and organize the biggest international contest on earth, the World Cup. The contest generates billions in revenue and attracts billions of fans.

But behind the spectacle lurks an ugly truth.

    Qatar 2022

    Qatar 2022

    How did this small, Middle Eastern autocracy, with no international soccer pedigree or modern stadium infrastructure, land the ultimate international sporting competition: the 2022 FIFA World Cup? Money. Lots of money.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 44 min
    Equal Footing

    Equal Footing

    Today’s episode is all about hope. The stunning success of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team offered FIFA a roadmap to a better way of doing business, one that promised soaring profits while embracing the organization’s core mission: to spread soccer and fair play around the globe. Instead, FIFA relegated the women’s game to second-class status even after seeing record crowds. In choosing to stick with its old corrupt ways, FIFA lost the one thing it cares about most: money. But women’s soccer still offers the last, best hope for a better FIFA.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 55 min
    White Elephants

    White Elephants

    FIFA’s appalling behavior in Chile and Argentina is ancient history…right? You’d think world soccer’s governing body would have learned its lessons and modernized by 2014, but you’d be wrong. In the soccer-mad nation of Brazil, FIFA was faced with a choice between profits and people, and FIFA did what it always does - it put profits first. Screw the consequences.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 37 min
    The World Cup of Shame, Part 2

    The World Cup of Shame, Part 2

    After spending millions of dollars they didn’t have to build World Cup infrastructure, and disappearing anyone opposed to their lavish plans, Argentina’s military junta turns its eyes on an even bigger prize – a World Cup victory on its home soil in 1978.
     
    How far would General Videla and his henchmen go to win? And would FIFA ignore their blatant efforts to rig the World Cup?
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 38 min
    The World Cup of Shame, Part 1

    The World Cup of Shame, Part 1

    In 1978, FIFA faced a simple choice: Play the World Cup in a nation ruled by a brutal military dictatorship, or move the tournament to a country that better represented the global values of fair play at the heart of FIFA’s mission. FIFA chose to chase dollars rather than stand up for human rights. This is Argentina ‘78, the World Cup of Shame, Part 1.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 25 min
    See No Evil

    See No Evil

    In this episode, you’ll hear how the Lords of Soccer abused their positions to prop up and promote a violent dictatorship in Chile, all in the name of profit.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
121 Ratings

121 Ratings

Kozmo 702 ,

Fantastic Look into the Criminal Organization known as FIFA

I’ve been a football fan since I loved in England during the 80s. Over the last decade or so I’ve heard snippets about how FIFA was corrupt. This podcast series brought it all together and I thoroughly loved how everything was brought together and the presentation. Due to this podcast series, I refused to watch a single World Cup 2022 match and never will support a FIFA-sponsored match until significant changes are made with FIFA. For your next series, how about investigating and reporting on how Ticketmaster sucked the fun out of live music and rapes fans’ wallets. Ticketmaster is a monopoly that needs to be broken up and the fun restored to the music industry!! Thanks!

EastNashBill ,

FANTASTIC…

Now do the IOC!

debbslai ,

Keep it coming!!!

Intriguing entertaining and easy to understand.
Great job for making the stories interesting and easy to understand 👍👍👍👍👍

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