San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
Join us for an evening with the authors of one of the most important football investigations of all time. Heidi Blake and Jonathan Calvert's book The Ugly Game: The Qatari Plot To Buy The World Cup is undoubtedly the book behind the biggest story in world football.
Over a period of a month in 2014 the Sunday Times Insight team spilled the secrets of a bombshell cache of hundreds of millions of secret documents, “The Fifa Files”, leaked by a whistleblower from the heart of football. In forensic detail, they reported on an extraordinary campaign waged by Mohamed Bin Hammam,Qatar’s top football official, and how he exploited his position to help secure the votes Qatar needed to win the bid to host the 2022 World Cup.
The team spent three months in a secret data centre outside London painstakingly piecing together a timeline of Bin Hammam’s activities, going through emails, faxes, phone records, letters, flight logs, accounts and bank transfer slips, examining tens of thousands of gigabytes of data using forensic search technology and a network of offshore supercomputers. They reported on cash handouts, lavish junkets and evidence of payments to football officials across Africa - including the transfer of funds into bank accounts controlled by Jack Warner, the FIFA executive committee member for Trinidad and Tobago.
Now in this remarkable new book by the Sunday Times journalists at the heart of the investigation, Heidi Blake and Jonathan Calvert, comes the most comprehensive account yet of what happened and who was involved. Above all, it sheds new light on why, despite all the evidence, Fifa under Sepp Blatter continues to support Qatar. And it raises further questions about the decision to publish an edited version and abbreviated report into the process that was immediately denounced by its own author. The Ugly Game is undoubtedly the biggest sporting story of the year.
Both authors will be spending the evening discussing the investigation, the book they created, and of course the ramifications and ongoing investigation at FIFA. An absolute must-see event for anyone who wants to understand the corruption at the heart of world's greatest competition.
When & Where
Manchester Football Writing Festival
The Manchester Football Writing Festival, in association with Waterstones Manchester Deansgate, the National Football Museum and Hotel Football is back for its' third season!
National Football Museum, Waterstones Manchester Deansgate and this year Hotel Football will play host to some of the beautiful game's most outspoken, informed and entertaining voices between 1-8 September 2016.
The Guardian Football Weekly Live takes place at the RNCM on 2 September and is set to be a festival highlight again, plus McrFWF stalwarts The Blizzard return for another round at the National Football Museum. The team behind OPTA will be revealing how data is changing football and how they have become one of social media's most distinctive voices over at Hotel Football. On the festival's final night we're delighted to host a panel from Women In Football, offering tips and insight for how to get ahead in football journalism.
Across the festival names including Henry Winter, Oliver Kay, Rory Smith, Jacqui Oatley, Caroline Barker, James Richardson and many more will be sharing insight, opinion and indulging in 8 nights of wide-ranging, intelligent, sometimes controversial and always entertaining conversation.