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Red Card: How the U.S. Blew the Whistle on the World's Biggest Sports Scandal Hardcover – June 12, 2018
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"A gripping white-collar crime thriller that, in its scope and human drama, ranks with some of the best investigative business books of the past 30 years." (David Hirshey The Wall Street Journal)
“An engrossing and jaw-dropping tale of international intrigue. . . . The FIFA scandal involved old-fashioned and highly intuitive vote buying, bribery, payoffs and kickbacks on a breathtaking scale. Such corruption makes for a particularly gripping narrative. . . . A riveting book.” (Jonathan A. Knee The New York Times)
“Red Card is timely and fascinating, a galloping world tour of the filth and corruption that stretches from Trump Tower to the heart of Russia. With gripping storytelling, Ken Bensinger reveals how the FIFA empire was constructed, what caused it to crash down, and why nothing will ever be the same. Readers won't be able to put this book down.” (Charles Duhigg, Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling author of The Power of Habit and Smarter Faster Better)
“Red Card is a globe-trotting, stylish non-fiction crime thriller…. Ken Bensinger exposes the massive FIFA case as a narrative with enough twists, betrayals, and action for a Hollywood noir.” (Ashlee Vance, author of Elon Musk)
"If you love soccer, then you probably hate FIFA. I took immense pleasure in reading this cracking tale of how an unlikely crew of Yanks busted the cabal of crooks that ran the global game for so long. Ken Bensinger has beautifully reported a great procedural that gets to the heart of so much that is wrong with sport—and the world." (Franklin Foer, author of How Soccer Explains the World and World Without Mind)
"Red Card is the meeting of American investigative reporting and real-life cop show." (Simon Kuper The Financial Times)
“With the flair of a novelist, Bensinger meticulously chronicles the magnitude of corruption that permeates the world’s most popular sport.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“[A] fine, deeply researched, painstakingly assembled book. . . . A deeply forensic investigation of the depth of corruption within FIFA and its regional bodies that also shows how much work goes into high-level criminal investigations.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“Writing with deep inside knowledge of the key players and events in the U.S.-led investigation, veteran journalist Bensinger manages to give a mind-bogglingly complex cast of characters and time lines the pace and plot of a crackling white-collar-crime thriller. . . . It may be a beautiful game on the field, but in the backrooms and boardrooms, it’s downright disgusting. Anyone seeking crystal-clear understanding of the rot in soccer can start with this remarkable book.” (Booklist (starred review))
“With revelatory reporting and glittering prose, Ken Bensinger delivers the definitive account of how American investigators pulled the string on a tax case that ended up unraveling the ‘World Cup of fraud' leading to the executive suites at FIFA headquarters in Zurich. A remarkable achievement.” (Don Van Natta Jr., three-time Pulitzer Prize winning author of Wonder Girl and Her Way)
About the Author
Ken Bensinger has been a journalist for more than twenty years. He has worked at The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and, since 2014, for BuzzFeed News, as a member of its investigations team, and has written about sports, labor, art, automobiles, and politics, among other topics. He has been a winner of the ASME National Magazine award and the Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Finance & Business Reporting, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in national reporting. He grew up in Seattle, graduated from Duke University, and lives with his wife, two children, and dog, in Los Angeles. Red Card is his first book.
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The book unravels a world where bribery seems to be a mundane part of business.
And for the first time I think I understand the real, and completely crazy business of soccer, sports, and the World Cup.