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Jonathan Ball

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The Big Fix: How South Africa Stole the 2010 World Cup, the explosive new book by Ray Hartley

The Big FixRay Hartley’s new book, The Big Fix: How South Africa Stole the 2010 World Cup, gives the first detailed account of how South Africa paid $10 million to secure the 2010 World Cup:

Between June and July 2010, 64 games of football determined that Spain was the world’s best team at the World Cup in South Africa. South Africans – and the world – celebrated a brilliantly hosted tournament where everything worked like clockwork and the stands were packed with vuvuzela‐wielding fans.

But the truth was not yet known. Behind this significant national achievement lay years of corporate skulduggery, crooked companies rigging tenders and match fixing involving the national team.

As late as 2015 it was revealed that the tournament’s very foundations were corrupt when evidence emerged that South Africa had encouraged FIFA to pay money to a bent official in the Caribbean to buy three votes in its favour.

As Sepp Blatter’s FIFA edifice crumbled, a web of transactions from New York to Trinidad and Tobago showed how money was diverted to allow South Africa’s bid to host the tournament to succeed.

In The Big Fix, Hartley reveals the story of an epic national achievement and the people who undermined it in pursuit of their own interests. It is the real story of the 2010 World Cup.

About the author

Ray Hartley worked as an administrator at the CODESA negotiations, which ended apartheid. He has covered the unfolding drama of the new South Africa as a political correspondent, travelling extensively with Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki. Hartley was the founding editor of The Times and editor of South Africa’s largest newspaper, The Sunday Times, from 2010 to 2013. He is author of Ragged Glory: The Rainbow Nation in Black and White and editor of the essay collection How To Fix South Africa.

Book details