The short answer is almost definitely not, but in the land where even the most outlandish conspiracy theories are given a fair hearing, who are we to argue? In the last few days, this video has exploded around the world, as it presents “incontrovertible evidence” that the whole thing is fixed.

The draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup seemed to go off without a hitch. Indeed, the biggest topic of conversation revolved around host Fernanda Lima: more specifically, who was she, how did her wonderfully gravity-defying dress stay up, and why was it that only now this diosa of the little round balls was entering our lives.

But there was a darker secret behind the glitz and glamour*. A video released on YouTube, complete with spooky X-Files theme music (the best way to make your point serious), showed FIFA Secretary Jerome Valcke apparently manipulating the draw with a sleight of hand** that irritating street magician David Blaine would be proud of.

If you don’t speak Spanish, here is a quick roundup of the superimposed commentary revealing Valcke’s dastardly machinations:***

  • The draw begins. The first ball is Brazil in Group 1.
  • It is the only certain ball, which is why Cafu draws it.
  • From the second country ball onwards, Jerome Valcke shows them all.
  • He opens the ball above the blue FIFA sign, but then he lowers it immediately to take out the piece of paper with the country’s name.
  • He opens above (dramatic slo-mo shot) but the papers always come out from underneath.
  • He did the same thing with all the balls in the draw.
  • Look at the difference with the balls that Fernanda Lima takes out (THE BALLS!! LOOK AT THE BALLS!! Do not be distracted by the camera’s rather pervy zoom.)
  • She opens, and right there shows the paper. The group positions were left to chance so it would not look too obvious.


And the paranoid ranting/ discovery of a lifetime continues for another minute and a half.

Is this evidence of a FIFA conspiracy to rig the draw in favor of or against somebody? Or the overactive imagination of a fan who clearly has far too much time on his hands? Most probably the second, but the 3 million-odd views that our intrepid investigator has already enjoyed on YouTube show that conspiracy sells.


* There probably was not.
** It’s probably coincidence. Please don’t sue me, FIFA.
*** Seriously Jerome, I don’t believe a word of it.