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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.
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