Whatever It Takes - the Inside Story of the FIFA Way
Author: Bonita Mersiades
Although the action starts in 2006, this book has lost none of its relevance or power. It remains the only book written by an insider about the corrupt 2018/2022 World Cup bidding process.
In the years since the decision to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments, many fine legal minds, investigators, journalists and others have attempted to find out just how Russia, and especially Qatar, managed to pull it off.
As with almost everything to do with the entire World Cup bidding process conducted by FIFA, there is even more to the story than merely about how two nations won. Much more.
This book lifts the lid on how a bid for the greatest show on earth, the FIFA World Cup, works from the inside – an inside that involves what is now known as the murky, corrupt goings-on of world football administration. As US Senator Richard Blumenthal said, comparing FIFA to the mafia “is almost insulting to the mafia”.
It’s the inside story of a losing bid team and the characters around it. It’s the inside story of how the ‘FIFA Way’ – as former US Attorney-General Loretta Lynch referred to it – works. And it shows that when it comes to the greatest prize in world football some people will do whatever it takes.
First Published: January 2018 in the USA
Second Edition: November 2022
ISBN: 978-1-925914-68-9; 978-1-925914-67-2 (ePub)
Size: 202mm x 140mm
Pages: 366 + 8 pages of photographs
“It's a nervy, gripping read, which is the most vivid account of the times and description of the FIFA circus I've ever come across (and guess am ever likely to come across). It is also very, very funny at times.”
Philippe Auclair, France Football
“How many of us would have the courage to stand up to those in charge of such a powerful organization as FIFA? Precious few I suspect.
Bonita Mersiades is an incredibly brave woman who put principles over personal safety and helped restore a degree of integrity to an organization riddled with corruption.”
Professor Eric Olson, Director, Sport Management program , University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
"The best book on the FIFA scoundrels - and written by an insider who was actually there."
(The late) Andrew Jennings, Investigative Journalist
“Essential reading for every single football fan out there, and required reading for everyone in football administration on any level.”
Håvard Melnæs, Josimar
"Those who have tracked Mersiades' path from World Cup bid insider to passionate anti-corruption campaigner will anticipate a compelling and intricately detailed account of Australia's deeply flawed attempt to host the 2022 World Cup and FIFA's dark machinations.
Mersiades has not disappointed. Her personal story of expert engagement with the bid team, gradual disillusionment and, upon her sacking, relentless attempts to expose corruption across FIFA is an entertaining, enlightening and also somewhat depressing tale.
In Mersiades' case, it also exposes the lengths both FIFA and the FFA took to discredit and ostracise those who dared expose their murkiest dealings, and the hefty price a whistleblower can pay."
Richard Hinds, ABC
"This book is a belter. If there really is anyone left who thinks FIFA stories are dry and boring, read this."
Mani Djazmi, BBC
"This deserves to be read by everyone interested in issues of governance, probity and accountability in world sport. Or even if you just want an entertaining read about some of the characters in world football. It is a cracking read. I couldn't put it down.
Jaimie Fuller, Co-Founder, #NewFIFANow