Founded in 1904 by representatives of the sporting organisations of six European nations then expanding into the Americas, Asia and Africa FIFA has developed to become one of the most high profile and lucrative businesses in the global consumer and cultural industry. Recent years however have been characterised by a series of crises leaving the organisation open to critique and exposure, and creating a soap operatic narrative of increasing interest to the global media.
In this critical new account of one of the world’s most important sporting institutions, Professor Alan Tomlinson investigates the history of FIFA and the underlying political dynamics characterising its growth. The book explores the influence of the men who have led FIFA, the emergence of the World Cup as FIFA’s exclusive product, FIFA’s relationships with other federations and associations, the crises that have shaped its recent history, and the issues and challenges that are likely to shape its future. Particular focus is given to selected moments in the post- Havelange administration and the way in which FIFA, its current president Joseph Blatter and some key close colleagues have responded to and survived successive scandals. The book provides a foundation for understanding the growth and development of what is widely accepted as the world’s most popular sport; sheds light on the shifting politics of nationalism in the post-colonial period; and reveals the opportunistic forms of personal aggrandizement shaping an increasingly media-influenced and globalizing world in which international sport was both a harbinger and an early reflection of these trends and forces.
Fascinating and provocative, this is essential reading for anybody with an interest in soccer, sport and society, sports governance, or global organisations.
Table of Contents
Introduction: FIFA’s Annus Horribilis and its Aftermath 1. Origins 2. Workings 3. Leaders 4. Supreme Leader 5. Moneyspinners 6. Cashcow 7. Crises 8. Futures 9. Conclusion
Alan Tomlinson is Professor of Leisure Studies at the University of Brighton. His most recent roles have been Director of Research & Development (Social Sciences) and Director of Postgraduate Studies (Arts). His research interests are in the sociology and socio-cultural study of sport and leisure cultures and the sociology of consumption, in particular the politics and culture of the sport spectacle. Recent books include the Dictionary of Sports Studies (Oxford University Press), The World Atlas of Sport (Myriad/New Internationalist), Watching the Olympics: Politics, Power and Representation (Routledge, edited with John Sugden), and Understanding Sport: A socio-cultural study, Second Edition (Routledge, co-author with John Horne, Garry Whannel, and Kath Woodward).
"Accessibly written, the book offers a multi-angled analysis of the organization. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries." - Y. Kiuchi, Michigan State University, CHOICE Review
"Overall, Tomlinson’s book offers a welcome addition to the study of sport. Not only does it provide readers with a great insight into the development, values, personnel and controversy surrounding football’s world governing body, but it also adds to the literature on sport politics and the sociology of sport. I would, therefore, recommend this book to those studying and/or teaching in the field of sport studies, and also to those who simply have a general interest in sport."— Paul Michael Brannagan, Loughborough University, UK, Sociology (Sage)
- Author Interview