BBC sports journalist Richard Conway tells how interview with Sepp Blatter won an award

By Sam Brooksbank

Award-winning BBC journalist Richard Conway hopes to highlight the highs and lows of a career in the industry at Leeds Trinity University’s Journalism Week.

Richard started his career at ITV working on political programmes before moving to the Sky News sport editorial team before joining the BBC as the sports news correspondent for Radio 5 Live.

In 2015, Richard gained notoriety when he was allowed unprecedented access to interview the then-head of world football Sepp Blatter at his home in Switzerland.

Richard’s coverage of Fifa across all broadcast media won him the Broadcast Sports Journalist of the Year in February this year.
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He said: “The interview was a result of sticking with a story for years.

“Having covered Fifa stories for six years – everything from goal line technology to corruption issues – I was on personal terms with most of the main players in the organisation and Blatter’s daughter and advisor, Corinne.”

The disgraced Fifa president was first elected in 1998 and re-elected four times, but in 2015 resigned after the controversy of an ongoing corruption inquiry which led to the arrests of 16 Fifa officials. They were accused of taking bribes totalling more the $150m in return for providing huge media deals and marketing rights.

Richard said he had wanted to get an insight into Blatter as a man, filming him away from Fifa headquarters, and that had proved to be the main reason why he agreed to the interview.

“The British press often painted him as a buffoon but to survive 40 years in football politics requires Machiavellian skills and a large dose of chutzpah. I wanted to see that side of him,” he added.

I’m really looking forward to speaking during Journalism Week. Hopefully I can explain some highs and lows of being a sports news journalist and, in return, I’m keen to learn from the industry’s next generation.”

Richard will start his talk at noon on Friday, November 18.

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