“ManiLeaks” Part 1: World Cup 2014 Draw Conspiracy Theory
By Mani Samani
On 6 December 2013, FIFA World Cup Brazil Final Draw was held in Costa do Sauipe, Brazil. A user on Twitter apparently predicted two major elements of the draw correctly; the shocking news was published on social networking websites with conspiracy theories all over it after.
While the Tweets have been shared thousands of times around the world, many are already claiming that it’s nothing more than an elaborate hoax by a group of computer hackers. The Twitter account “#FifaFraude” was opened just a day before the draw, and at the night before the ceremony it appeared to have correctly predicted that Italy would be the European team moved into Pot 2, and that Argentina would be in a group with Nigeria, Iran, and Bosnia. This user also claimed a world-shaking accusation that the tournament winner has already been chosen. As you can see below the first Tweet predicts correctly that Italy would be the team that came out of Pot 4 and put into Pot 2, while the second Tweet names Argentina’s three group stage opponents.
There are also more claims that you can read in the translation below: “We profoundly lament that a sport that is so pure is manipulated by an international organization that acts on its economic interests… We are not trying to rid the World Cup of its excitement and euphoria. However, if this corrupt manipulation goes on we will consider ourselves obliged to publish the name of the winner of the competition, which has already been dictated by Blatter and his company from Switzerland.”
“On the other hand, neither is it our intention to ruin all the drama of the World Cup draw. With that in mind, we will only publish the group in which Argentina will play. Let’s begin.”
Another reason that they claim there is a pre-programmed draw is because there are three groups of death this time, rather than the usual one, meaning good early TV ratings and interest spread widely across the tournament, which is an unbelievable opportunity for TV commercial companies.
Brazil and Spain, two of the greatest football teams in the world, cannot meet until the final, assuming that they both win their groups; this is thanks to pre-organized groups! So the semi-finals, if all matches go according to the expected form, will be Brazil vs Germany and Argentina vs Spain; so a Brazil vs Argentina or Brazil vs Spain final are both strong possibilities.
The World Cup draw TV show itself caused suspicion among the curious people looking for conspiracy theories. They claim that FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke, who opened the balls to reveal the countries intended for each group, was in fact manipulating the draw. It is clear from the video that, as each ball is given to him, Valcke lowers it below the camera’s view for a few seconds, before showing the audience the country that was inside. The conspiracy theorists claim that, below the table, Valcke had papers with all the countries names laid out for him, and he simply chose the country for particular groups according to FIFA’s wishes. Further evidence shows how Fernando Lima, the Brazilian model who was given the job of showing where each country was placed in their assigned group, was far more open when unscrewing the ball. The video also reveals how Lima’s paper would immediately roll back into shape after she let it go, while Valcke’s remained straight, suggesting that the paper he showed had never been inside a ball in the first place.
There have been conspiracy theories running for years about possible ways of fixing the draw for the World Cup, with the favourite being that the balls are heated up somehow, as suggested in Germany 2006, or perhaps even through vibrations via remote control in South Korea and Japan during 2002, to let those who were drawing know which country to pick out next.
Of course, these claims are just internet conspiracy theories and will be refuted by FIFA, but judging by the favourable group both France and Switzerland received compared to England, maybe there is some truth within these accusations. Whether it is a manipulation from FIFA or a computer hack of well-known social networks, what happened on that twitter page is mind blowing!