Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Fall of the House of Fifa” as Want to Read:
The Fall of the House of Fifa
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Fall of the House of Fifa

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  126 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Fifa was founded in 1904 to unite the football-playing world, its first congress stating that 'no person should be allowed to arrange matches for personal profit'. A little over a century later, a judge in a Brooklyn courtroom called Fifa a 'Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organisation (RICO) enterprise' - a term originally coined for the mafia.

As dazzling World Cups capti
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published June 8th 2017 by Yellow Jersey
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Quintin Zimmermann
A dense, meticulous narrative of the corruption and subversion of the beautiful game.

David Conn poignantly begins in relating his very first World Cup experiences as a child. My first nostalgic memories was the 1990 World Cup which I watched with my father, a proud German who jumped the Wall and immigrated to South Africa. Naturally, I supported West Germany and I can still recall our elation when they won the Final. While that match is often described as "one of the most cynical and ugliest Wor
Sajith Kumar
Jan 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: football
Football is the most popular sport in the world. It is played everywhere on the planet from deserts to marshes, from icy cold Siberia to the sweltering dry grounds of Atacama. People who love football keep afresh the memory of the first World Cup they had watched on TV or at the stadium. As for me, it was the 1986 Mexico championship in which Maradona played out his magic that glued me to the sport. Since the game is known for its ubiquity, it is essential to religiously administer all aspects o ...more
Beautifully written, well-researched, and deeply disturbing, this is a guilty pleasure of a read.

Documenting the rise of FIFA as an amateur organisation to the global powerhouse it is today, the author sets out credible and (sadly) believable evidence of the corruption that took root and slowly yet steadily sapped the organisation of funds that should have gone back into football and not into individuals’ pockets. A culture of bribery for self-enrichment and power, this is a harsh indictment on
Jun 04, 2017 rated it liked it
David Conn begins his exhaustive chronicle of FIFA's recent sordid affairs on an uncharacteristically bright note, spending the first chapter describing how he was enraptured by the 1974 World Cup as a 9 year-old. Every four years the World Cup comes around and mesmerizes and brings joy to fans across the globe and reaffirms that soccer is at its core a game designed to offer pleasure to players and spectators. 1974 marked a transitional year for the sport's global governing body, FIFA, as Brazi ...more
Aaron Mcquiston
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
David Conn writes about soccer for the Guardian and has written a handful of books about various soccer related subjects. Conn is also a fan and as a kid in 1974, watching the World Cup on television, he fell in love with the game, can still describe a dribble that Johan Cruyff used to trick an opponent (footage available on YouTube), and has a firm belief that soccer is one of the purest, bridge-building sports in the world. So for Conn to get in the middle of the corruption of Fifa, Concacaf, ...more

Shock waves were sent through the soccer world when it was announced that the 2022 World Cup tournament would be held in Qatar during the summer months of the northern hemisphere. Many asked how this could happen and what was the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) thinking when they did this. A subsequent investigation found that allegations of kickbacks, bribery, money laundering and tax evasion played a big role in this announcement and also the awarding of the 2018 World
Paul Brewer
Mar 15, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Some years ago, I read David Conn's book The Beautiful Game. It was alright, perhaps a bit romantic about an entertainment industry that happens to be a sport. So when this popped up on my library's 'new books' shelf at a time when I was feeling some interest in association football, I thought I'd give it a go.

Conn is a good read in the newspaper, but I found this book a struggle. I persevered to the end, albeit skipping over some passages where he quotes at length from indictments or interviews
Brendan Crowley
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sport
I greatly enjoyed this book on FIFA's troubled history. Its extensively researched and well written. As a follower of David's writing in the Guardian the book lives up to expectations.

Its a sad reminder of the scale of corruption and the breath of individuals involved. Blatter emerges as not quite the villain but rather the enabler and master politician. There is plenty of new material even for those following FIFA closely, especially a fascinating interview with a post retirement Blatter.

Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

The book is masterfully researched, and depressing for any football (soccer) fan to read. The enormity of the unabashed corruption surrounding this organization is astonishing. Each time you would read about a scandal, you would assume that the current scandal would be the last, and the organization would begin to redeem itself, only to discover another scandal almost immediately afterwards. You do not have to
Ystyn Francis
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, sport
This revealing, if not slightly repetitive, look behind the scenes of the FIFA scandals undercovered over the last couple of years was somewhat heartbreaking to read. Woven throughout the expose is the fact that, no matter what, money corrupts. The power and reach of FIFA is such that their potential to do so much good both and off the field - especially in third world countries - is potentially unparalleled. Sepp Blatter was even arrowing for FIFA to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. Unfortunatel ...more
Matt Reichbach
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
detailed look at a corrupt organization

There will be many books written a bout corruption in FIFA, especially as more information comes to light. This book details the corruption that we know of dating back decades in an in-depth way, remaining credulous even as the acts themselves are a farce. Worth reading by any fan of soccer who can separate the game from the organization that runs it.
Steven Pilling
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is forensic reporting of the top order.

Conn takes you through the history and dishonour of fifa in such a way that you can not fail to see the disgrace.

This is not the cd version but the netgalley version.

There are no heroes in this book and people who are unfamiliar with Conn's work would be better suited to start with richer than god but it has a righteous anger that is necessary in this time
Jubin Chheda
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a magnum opus of investigative and compilative journalism -- it has the makings of a great movie. The characters, the money, the curroption and the high life. The kicker is that it doesn't really shock you even as newer and newer layers are uncovered. I will knock off a star just because it drags in the last third a little bit -- worth the read even so. Every world cup fan should read this and dare I say, act on the info.
Chris Jaffe
Jul 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports
Good book, but I couldn't get into it. I'd already read "The Ugly Game" by Heidi Blake & Jonathan Calvert, and a lot of this felt like a rehash. That isn't really fair because this is more broad in its coverage, and goes closer to the present than that book did - but much of the first half of this covers a lot of the same ground as that book, so I ended up skimming a lot.
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bio-sports
This is a wonderful book that is difficult to read, otherwise I would give it five stars. It needs three appendices: a list of the organizations, a list of the people and a chronology. If I were to read it again, I'd make notes. It appears that the book was rushed into publication and could have used one more tough edit. The benefit of having it now is that the final reporting is very timely.
Interesting topic. Well researched. Poorly organized and edited. There is a lot of repetition in this book and a lot of jumping around in the timeline. As a result, it was hard to follow in a few places. Some scenes are described in detail and pull you in. Other sections, not so much.
Justin Britton
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommend, even if you’re not a football fan. You can really get a sense of how much time and research the author put in to detailing the crazy corruption of FIFA over so many years. Solid read, Pre-world Cup.
Very informative story on what lead to the investigation of FIFA ad arrest of executives in 2015. David Conn goes into a deeper look into the corruption of FIFA and its history under Sepp Blatter.
Emanuel Ramos
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
Great book outlying the rise and fall of FIFA, but wow, so much detail. Mind-numbing almost.
Robert Whitehouse
More a book about organized crime than football, this is an exceptionally detailed account of the internal corruption and moral decay of FIFA between 1978 and 2016.
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little on the dense side, but a very interesting read and good for audio.
Max Nova
May 01, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-focus, crime
Full review and highlights at

It's World Cup time, so what could be more appropriate for my 2018 "Year of Crime and Punishment" to read David Conn's "The Fall of the House of Fifa"? Unfortunately, this book gets so bogged down in the details that it's tough to understand the big-picture mechanics of how money was moving around within Fifa. The numerous typos and uninspired writing style also contribute to its 2-star rating. However, if you're willing to slo
rated it really liked it
Aug 14, 2017
rated it really liked it
May 29, 2018
Daniel Demarle
rated it liked it
Jan 23, 2018
Heidi Brandl
rated it it was amazing
Jan 24, 2018
Ian Thomson
rated it really liked it
Jan 04, 2018
rated it it was ok
Jul 15, 2018
Clark Prinster
rated it liked it
Aug 06, 2018
Eric Long
rated it really liked it
Jul 05, 2018
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Nonfiction Deals

  • Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World
    $9.99 $2.99
  • How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One
    $10.49 $1.99
  • Hidden Figures
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Pocket Prayers: 40 Simple Prayers that Bring Peace and Rest
    $2.99 $0.99
  • Manifest Your Destiny: Nine Spiritual Principles for Getting Ev
    $11.74 $1.99
  • A Three Dog Life
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam
    $14.99 $2.99
  • How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character
    $10.99 $2.99
  • Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal: War Stories from the Local Food Front
    $5.99 $1.99
  • My Glory Was I Had Such Friends: A Memoir
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life
    $6.99 $0.99
  • I Hear You: The Surprisingly Simple Skill Behind Extraordinary Relationships
    $9.87 $3.49
  • The War of Art
    $9.99 $1.49
  • Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Other Four-Letter Words
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Abigail and John: Portrait of a Marriage
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas
    $19.99 $2.99
  • I'd Rather Be Reading: A Library of Art for Book Lovers
    $9.99 $1.99