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 historic leader of FIFA, under the gaze of Oscar winner Armando Bó.
The Argentine director, producer and screenwriter, winner of the Oscar for the script of “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 soccer for decades.
If the first season analyzed how corruption plagued Chilean soccer, the second installment widens the focus and offers a complete 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 what murderer he is negotiating with,” he replies. in an interview with EFE the creator of the format.
At the center of the story is the former FIFA president, João Havelange (played by Albano Jerónimo), the unlikely Brazilian who seized power from the Europeans and maintained control of the sports organization for almost three decades.
Bó does not hesitate to ensure that Havelange was a decisive figure in shaping the football industry as it is known today.
“He turned the sport into a money-making machine,” he says. He invented a way to negotiate television rights and knew how to make Latin American football more relevant against European football ».
Precisely, the series begins in the 1966 World Cup in England, when a Havelange who comes as a Brazilian leader feels ignored by his European counterparts and undertakes a sacrificial career to the highest power in FIFA.
Relying on the countries with less relevance on the game board, the man ascended to the presidency in 1974 and remained in office until 1998.
However, already retired, he was accused of crimes that included arms and drug trafficking, tax evasion and bribery, among other accusations that ended up exploding in 2015, a year before his death, when the corruption plot of the FIFA (FIFA Gate) after winning the World Cup in Qatar.
“He was kind of a winner until he was 100 years old and saw everything fall apart. If he had died at 98, he would not have seen it, I think it’s something funny, “says Bó.
Despite the thorny nature of the plot, whose premiere coincides with the celebration of a World Cup harshly criticized by human rights organizations, the filmmaker defends the satirical and light tone of the series -shot in English, Spanish and Portuguese- because “the world football is a parody in itself.
The cunning reaches such a point that the actor Andrés Parra, who 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 soccer criminal network.
«I mean what is generated around him. I am a fan, but if you look at it from the side, how can people feel so much about 11 or 22 guys running after a ball? So nothing, I think there was no other possible tone, “concludes the Argentine.