LIVE: Award-winning sports journalist reveals inside story of FIFA


By Henry Valantine

BBC Sports news correspondent Richard Conway has opened his talk to students at Leeds Trinity University by claiming that the need for quality journalism has never been so high, whilst the public’s perception of journalism has never been so low.

Richard’s coverage of the scandals in FIFA – across radio, TV and online – won him the award for Broadcast Sports Journalist of the Year in February this year.

He told his audience of prospective sports reporters: “Specialism in journalism right now is becoming more important, and employers are looking for that more these days. People can know a little about a lot, but if there’s something which you know a lot about, that will be really useful.”

He added: “If there is an area where plenty of stories and different aspects that can come off of it, that will be big currency for you in your work.”

On the recent controversy surrounding former FIFA president Sepp Blatter, Richard said: “He’d been in power since 1998, and he wasn’t going to give up without a fight.”

“He had a need to speak, had a need to get his side of the story out about everything that had happened in 2015. He did not want to be leaving FIFA under a cloud, and wanted to remind people of everything he had done.”

Richard detailed his niche knowledge of FIFA, world football’s governing body, and shared his experiences of interviewing the then-president of the organisation.

He said: “Blatter was so removed from reality, that he was in a different world. I found him a very strange character, he was a distant man, and at that point he had people around him who were just telling him what he wanted to hear.”

“When you meet people in authority like that, it’s interesting to see how they are. You have to try and see it from their perspective when they’re trying to get a message across.”


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