Andrew Jennings, a groundbreaking investigative journalist who exposed the darkest corners of the Olympic movement and football body FIFA, has died. He was 78 years old. (More sports news)
A post on his official Twitter account on Monday said Jennings died on Saturday “after a brief and sudden illness.” No other details were given.
“If you had to put one name to the revolution in international sports debate over the last 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.
This Saturday, the world lost a pioneer of journalism. His work was crucial in uncovering the culture of corruption in global sport: Andrew Jennings set new, higher standards for journalistic coverage of sports politics. Lily @JensSejerA‘s obituaryðŸ’‰https://t.co/pvmpxiRMno pic.twitter.com/T4BI69dbGq
— Play the game (@playthegame_org) January 10, 2022
Jennings researched evidence and wrote books that shook the reputations of international sports organizations and their leaders while pioneering the greater scrutiny they would later face from the media.
His books, including “The Lords of the Rings” published in 1992 and “Foul!” in 2005, have proven to be essential texts for better understanding the politics and conduct around the International Olympic Committee and FIFA.
He would usually be the reporter at their press conferences asking the most direct and provocative questions.
Jennings and his work proved to be a foundation upon which US authorities built their sprawling investigation into international soccer officials. The fallout forced then FIFA President Sepp Blatter, a longtime target of Jennings, to resign.
Jennings has also made investigative documentaries about FIFA for the BBC. These programs precipitated the exit of Blatter’s predecessor, Joao Havelange of Brazil, from his honorary FIFA and IOC titles.