In June 2010, the richest World Cup ever kicked off as delirious South African fans gathered in a rare act of national unity to make the world’s biggest sporting event a success. The magnificent new stadiums were packed and the streets were safe. It all went off like clockwork.
But behind this impressive achievement lay billions in wasted public money, crooked companies rigging construction tenders and the fixing of a string of matches involving the national team. Tragically, one of those who blew the whistle would pay with his life.
Then, in May 2015, the arrest of Fifa executives revealed that the tournament’s very foundations were rotten. Evidence emerged that South Africa had encouraged Fifa to pay money to a corrupt member of its executive to secure three votes in favour of its hosting the tournament.
As Sepp Blatter’s Fifa edifice crumbled, a web of transactions, from New York to Trinidad and Tobago and the Cayman Islands, showed how money was diverted to ensure that South Africa’s bid to host the tournament succeeded.
In The Big Fix, Ray Hartley reveals the truth about the rotten foundation on which an epic national achievement was built, exposing the people who used the event to amass wealth and power. This is the real story of the 2010 World Cup.