FIFA corruption journalist Andrew Jennings dies aged 78.
BRITISH journalist Andrew Jennings, who exposed FIFA, Olympic and Scotland Yard corruption, dies aged 78 following a “brief and sudden illness”.
Andrew Jennings, an award-winning investigative sports reporter, is credited with uncovering bribery within FIFA after spending four years delving into the dark side of ‘the beautiful game’, which led to the downfall of its president at the time, Sepp Blatter.
Born in Scotland, Jennings, whose investigatory documentaries about FIFA also helped with the removal of Blatter’s predecessor, Brazil’s João Havelange, also tackled corruption in the IOC and Scotland Yard.
In fact, Jennings exposé about the corruption in Scotland Yard led to him quitting the BBC in 1986 after the British Broadcast Company refused to air it. The documentary was eventually aired by World in Action and he later turned it into a book; Scotland Yard’s Cocaine Connection.
Andrew Jennings, who died on January 8, 2022, following a brief and sudden illness, was thought of highly in the realm of investigative journalism.
“If you had to put only one name to the revolution of the international sports debate over the past 30 years … that name and that person would be Andrew Jennings,” wrote Jens Sejer Andersen, director of the sports integrity campaign group Play The Game.
Jennings investigation into the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which exposed corrupt practices within the organisation, inspired his first ground-breaking sportsbook “The Lords of the Rings” (1992), co-authored with Vyv Simson.
The book would earn both authors a five-day suspended jail sentence in the court of Canton de Vaud in Lausanne for defamation of the IOC, and Andrew Jennings was banned for years from IOC events, according to Play The Game.
Tributes flooded social media after the sad news was revealed.
BBC Panorama wrote: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of investigative journalist and Panorama reporter Andrew Jennings.
“Banned by FIFA for asking questions about corruption, Andrew joined Panorama to make a series films exposing systemic wrongdoing at the sports organisation.”
We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of investigative journalist and Panorama reporter Andrew Jennings
Banned by FIFA for asking questions about corruption, Andrew joined Panorama to make a series films exposing systemic wrongdoing at the sports organisation pic.twitter.com/HvUdoxc7FU
— BBC Panorama (@BBCPanorama) January 10, 2022
Fifa whistleblower, Bonita Mersiades, wrote: “Sports journalism & sport have lost a brilliant individual journalist who shone a spotlight on the malfeasance of world sport when hardly anyone else would do so.”
"Sports journalism & sport have lost a brilliant individual journalist who shone a spotlight on the malfeasance of world sport when hardly anyone else would do so, & when so many (inc & especially in #Australia) disparaged him for it." https://t.co/3i6oyiyELN #AndrewJennings pic.twitter.com/9fDmq5ivQE
— Bonita Mersiades 💉💉💉 (@bonitamersiades) January 10, 2022
Associated Press sports writer, Graham Dunbar, said: “Every journalist following FIFA has devoured, enjoyed and learned from this essential Andrew Jennings book. Probably most FIFA staff and officials, too.”
Every journalist following FIFA has devoured, enjoyed and learned from this essential Andrew Jennings book. Probably most FIFA staff and officials, too. pic.twitter.com/aDPyVilSei
— Graham Dunbar (@gdunbarap) January 10, 2022
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