Investigative reporter Andrew Jennings is not a popular man among international sport elites. This week, he writes a football story with parallels to our world where powerful interests aim to eliminate dissent about the cool sporting event that takes place in British Columbia between 2009 & 2011.
One difference though is that VANOC uses the power of police and government to quiet critical voices whereas the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) exercises its own muscle. Because football, soccer to most North Americans, is the most popular sport throughout the world, FIFA’s muscle is considerable.
Jennings has looked at the dark side of athletics for years. He is author of The Great Olympic Swindle and Foul! The Secret World of FIFA. His website, Transparency in Sport presents many shocking corruption investigations including one that describes the attempt of FIFA honcho Sep Blatter to gag reporters:
As criticism of FIFA grows in South Africa over the huge prices being demanded for World Cup tickets, travel and hotel rooms, Sepp Blatter’s Thought Police are swinging into action, threatening to ban reporters who dare to write stories ‘bringing FIFA into disrepute’.
Canadian Olympic authorities are running heavy-handed operations. That is indisputable. David Berner provided another example of Olympic intimidation (AKA extortion), this time aimed at the charity Canadian Congenital Heart Alliance because of a long used logo that includes a heart-shaped flame.
The Vancouver 2010 High King has earned his crown. John Furlong learned well the business ways of international sport. A few years ago, he was directing Vancouver’s Arbutus Club, which modestly bills itself “one of Canada’s Premiere private Clubs.” His VANOC role is a continuation of service to those at the top of the socioeconomic hierarchy and experience will stand him in good stead to move next to IOC or FIFA.
Read more about Andrew Jennings and the Olympic Journalists’ Association at our post Lying with dogs, rising with fleas.
For unique views on international sport, have a look at Play the Game.