Football, Politics and Corruption in Latin America

  • SCI Belgrave Square, 14/15 Belgrave Square, London

Tickets will be available on the door for this event

The recent corruption scandal surrounding FIFA began with the arrest of seven current FIFA officials at the Hotel Baur au Lac in Zürich on 27 May. Five of the seven arrested were from Latin America: officials from Venezuela, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Brazil and Nicaragua. The arrests came in connection with an investigation by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) into wire fraud, racketeering, and money laundering. The court indictment centres on collusion between officials of continental soccer (association football) bodies CONMEBOL (South America) and CONCACAF (Caribbean, Central and North America), and executives of Latin American sports marketing agencies.

In light of these events Canning House will take an in-depth look at the world of football, politics and corruption in Latin America and how they all appear to intertwine. Has this always been the case in Latin American football?  Why does corruption in football appear to be endemic? Has the global commercialisation of the sport made things worse?  Can the administration and management of football in Latin America be professionalised?  What role could Latin American countries play in a reformed FIFA?  Will such a high-profile case have a positive effect on the fight against corruption in both politics and football in the region?

We are delighted to welcome a number of experts to speak on this very topical and contentious issue.  The panel will include, among others, Dr Rory Miller, Director of the MBA (Football Industries) at the University of Liverpool Management School and former editor of the Journal of Latin American Studies; Jimmy Burns, journalist and author of “La Roja: a journey through Spanish football” and “Maradona: the Hand of God”Fernando Duarte, journalist for BBC World Service and European Football Correspondent for UOL, a leading news website in Brazil and author of "Shocking Brazil: Six Games That Shook the World Cup"; Marcela Mora y Araujo, Guardian Sports Correspondent, specialist in South American and Argentine football and Advisor for the BBC World Cup Stories - Argentina programme, which won the RTS Sport Documentary of the year award for 2006; and Gustavo Poyet, former Uruguayan footballer for Chelsea FC and manager most recently for Sunderland FC.

This event will be chaired by Lord Triesman, former Foreign Minister with responsibility for Latin America, former Minister in the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, and former Chairman of the Football Association.

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