Andrew Jennings, a groundbreaking investigative journalist who exposed the darker corners of the Olympic movement and soccer body FIFA, has died. He was 78. (More Sports News)
A post written Monday on his official Twitter account said Jennings died Saturday “after a brief, sudden illness.” No more details were given.
“If you had to put only one name to the revolution of the international sports debate over the past 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 journalistic pioneer. His work was crucial for uncovering the culture of corruption in world sport: Andrew Jennings set new and higher standards for journalistic coverage of sports politics. Read @JensSejerA's obituaryðhttps://t.co/pvmpxiRMno pic.twitter.com/T4BI69dbGq— Play the Game (@playthegame_org) January 10, 2022
Jennings pursued evidence and wrote books that rocked the reputation of international sports organizations and their leaders while pioneering the more intense scrutiny they would later face from the media.
His books, including “The Lords of The Rings” published in 1992 and “Foul!” in 2005, proved to be essential texts to better understand the politics and conduct around the International Olympic Committee and FIFA.
He would typically be the reporter at their news conferences asking the most direct and provocative questions.
Jennings and his work proved to be a foundation on which American authorities built their sprawling investigation of international soccer officials. The fallout forced then-FIFA president Sepp Blatter, a long-time Jennings target, out of office.
Jennings also made investigative documentaries about FIFA for the BBC. Those programs hastened the exit of Blatter's predecessor, Joao Havelange of Brazil, from his honorary titles at FIFA and the IOC.