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Football: how to fix FIFA and World Cup corruption

December 2010: FIFA President Sepp Blatter announces Russia has won the competition to host the 2018 “FIFA World Cup”.  Qatar will host the 2022 competition.

You can watch the announcement, should you so wish, on this 21-minute long presentation.  The actual announcements are at minutes 9.10 and 15.50.

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Berlin Olympic stadium – venue for 2006 World Cup final

27 May 2015: the US department of Justice indicts nine FIFA officials and five others for “racketeering, conspiracy and corruption“.  The US Attorney General says: “The indictment alleges corruption that is rampant, systemic and deep-rooted both abroad and here in the United States”.

21 December 2015: Sepp Blatter is banned for eight years from all football related activity by FIFA’s own ethics committee, along with fellow top football administrator Michel Platini.  Both deny any wrongdoing. (more…)

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Hotel Stories – The Complete Collection: Reviews

The complete collection of Hotel Stories is now available on Amazon.  The volume contains all of the Hotel Stories, set in luxury five-star hotels.  All star the world’s most brilliant, unpredictable and occasionally homicidal hotel manager, Ms N; and Tatiana, her beautiful but naive accomplice.

Rather than have me tell you about them, let’s see what reviewers have said about the individual Hotel Stories:

– “You’ll never make a fuss at a hotel again”

– “Tatiana is Watson to Ms N’s Sherlock Holmes”

– “A slick read, lots going on here, finely paced and loved the subtle unsheathing of a hidden cutting edge in 5-star hotel-keeping.”

– “A cross between The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and Fawlty Towers

– “Delightful, dark, twisted, ingenious humour”

– “This is strong stuff. When the beam of Tatiana’s torch swings round in stifling darkness to reveal handcuffs and workmen’s tools,we know it’s time to right some truly awful wrongs

(more…)

Pyongyang, ballistic missiles and Gorby

In response to popular demand, I have published on Kindle an omnibus of my famous Hotel Stories.

The price is much better than buying the stories individually.

In the early days, back when I’d only written four Hotel Stories, I threw in an old, strange story of mine which I wrote back in the early ’90s in Moscow.  I wrote several short stories and even a novel about Russia in those days.  This is one of my favourites.

Novy Bor (it means “new forest” in Russian) is not a hotel story.  But it does, like the Hotel Stories, have a female narrator.  It’s set at a time – the winter of 1991-92 – when the Soviet Union suddenly ceased to exist.

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Street scene near Kyiv Station, Moscow, 2005. Photo: Robert Pimm

1991-92 was a period of turbulence, uncertainty and corruption in Russia: as the narrator observes: “with more dollars sloshing around in what people are beginning to call Russia than at any time since 1917, only a saint would have nothing to hide, and saints don’t make it big in Russian politics.”

“Novy Bor” is not at present available in full; but I might publish it on this blog sometime, if anyone says they’d like the read the rest of it.  You can read a taster here.  Let me know what you think via the “Contact me” page.

 

Novy Bor (excerpt)

A short story by Robert Pimm

The piece about the Russian rocket boffins and the Pyongyang vacation jobs catches my eye in some guy’s copy of AIDS-INFO as I step onto the platform at Lubyanka. I see it over his shoulder – I’m pretty tall – but read only a line or two before the usual crowd of jostlers sweeps me up off exitwards. Shoving back against an elbow in the breast I break my knee on a crate of oranges on wheels which is being pulled along like a dog on a string by an old man in a black coat who chooses this moment to stop dead. (more…)

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