Sports scandals return to television with the second season of “El Presidente”the Amazon Prime Video series that chronicles corruption in the world of football and this time focuses on João Havelange, the historical leader of FIFA, under the gaze of the Oscar winner Armando Bó.
The Argentine director, producer and screenwriter, winner of the Oscar for the screenplay for “Birdman” (2014)premieres this Friday a new plot that portrays, from satire and comedy, the network of power, money and influence peddling that intoxicated international football for decades.
If the first season analyzed how corruption splashed Chilean soccerthe second installment widens the focus and offers a comprehensive overview of scandals around the world.
“It is a relevant story because it is not only about football, it is a political series: About how a person manages to manipulate people for his mission and his ambition for power, regardless of what dictatorship or murderer he is negotiating with“, responds in an interview with EFE the creator of the format.
At the center of the story appears the former president of FIFA, Joao Havelange (played by Albano Jerónimo), the unlikely Brazilian who seized power from the Europeans and held control of the sports organization for nearly three decades.
bo no doubt in assuring that Havelange was a decisive character in shaping the football industry as it is known today.
“He turned the sport into a money-making machine -it states-. He invented a way to negotiate television rights and knew how to make Latin American football more relevant against European football.”
Precisely, the series starts at the 1966 World Cup in Englandwhen a Havelange who comes as a Brazilian manager feels ignored by his European counterparts and embarks on a sacrificial race to the top of power in FIFA.
Relying on countries with less relevance on the game boardthe man became president in 1974 and held the post until 1998.
Neverthelessalready retired, was charged with crimes that included arms and drug traffickingtax evasion and bribery, among other accusations that ended up exploding in 2015, a year before his death, when the FIFA corruption plot (FIFA Gate) was revealed after the award of the Qatar World Cup.
“He was kind of a winner until at age 100 he saw how everything fell apart. If he had died at 98 he wouldn’t have seen it, I think it’s kind of funnyBo points out.
Despite the thorny plot, whose premiere coincides with the celebration of a World Cup harshly criticized by human rights organizationsthe filmmaker defends the satirical and light tone of the series -shot in English, Spanish and Portuguese- because “the world of football is a parody in itself”.
The sarcasm reaches such a point that the actor Andrés Parrawho in the first season gave life to the Chilean accused of corruption Sergio Jadue, is in charge of narrating the story of Havelange, his superior in the criminal network of football.
“I mean what is generated around him. I am a fanaticbut if you look from the side how come people feel so much for 11 or 22 guys running after a ball? So nothing, I think there was no other possible tone,” concludes the Argentine.