Mega-events aren’t what they used to be.
The International Olympic Committee and FIFA used to be tickled pink by the number of countries that would line-up to bid for their marquee events.
The days of bidding wars are over. The Olympics and World Cup have become unwieldy to host and the organizations behind them are magnets for corruption.
Earlier this month, four cities opted-out of the United Bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Nearly two dozen remain hopeful of being one of the 12 to 16 sites if FIFA chooses the joint United States/Canada/Mexico bid over its only opponent, Morocco, in June. British Columbia Premier John Horgan compared FIFA’s demands for a tax holiday, relaxed labour laws and free security in Vancouver to a “blank cheque.”
Meanwhile, Calgary is pondering a bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics. But some in the 1988 Winter Games host city are balking at the $2 million cost to hold a referendum. It would be a small price to pay to decide whether or not to spend billions.
On this edition of theBreaker.news Podcast, host Bob Mackin interviews special guest Andrew Jennings, the British investigative journalist who exposed the dark side of the world’s biggest sporting events and introduced the world to the criminals behind the scenes.
Jennings is the author of Lords of the Rings: Power Money, Money and Drugs in the Modern Olympics and Foul! The Secret World of FIFA: Bribes, Vote-Rigging and Ticket Scandals. Jennings is delighted that cities are saying thanks, but no thanks to the IOC and FIFA. The ripple effects of Russian state-sponsored doping, alleged vote-buying for the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic bids, and FIFA’s systemic bribery and kickbacks continue to be felt. Jennings says the FBI is far from finished with FIFA.
Listen to the podcast and hear Jennings tell Mackin about his novel solution to corruption at the highest levels of world sport.
Also on this edition, a commentary on the latest chapter in British Columbia’s bizarro political history and a nod to those who are working to bring B.C. thugs to justice in Ontario.
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