Football: Fifa film United Passions out in US, mocked by press

Football: Fifa film United Passions out in US, mocked by press
Actor Gerard Depardieu (centre), Fifa President Sepp Blatter (right) and director Frederic Auburtin posing on the red carpet for the screening of the film United Passions at the 67th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, on May 18, 2014.

LOS ANGELES - Fifa film United Passions came out in United States (US) theatres on Friday, in the midst of a corruption scandal shaking the world football governing body, to the mockery of the American media.

"Poor Timing Or Marketing Score?" the website asked about the film starring Gerard Depardieu and Tim Roth.

A mocking Los Angeles Times commented that the feature "kicks far wide of its goal". The Washington Post said: "the film has the distinction of having perhaps the worst timing in silver screen history". Blatter, the hero of the movie, announced his resignation just four days ago, on Tuesday.

And the film has the rare honour of earning a 0-per cent favorability rating on review website

The New York Post called it a "tedious, amateurish and hilariously ill-timed film". "United Passions makes you believe we have yet to witness the true depths of Fifa's ego and arrogance," summed up website The Playlist.

Director Frederic Auburtin's film recounts the birth of the World Cup and Fifa through three of its presidents. It was presented at the Cannes Film Festival last year, with Blatter himself walking up the steps of the Film Festival Palace.

Depardieu plays the role of Jules Rimet, a Frenchman who served as the third president of Fifa, in office for 33 years.

A total of 14 football officials and sports marketing officials were charged over more than US$150 million (S$202 million) in bribes.

Evidence given by ailing whistleblower Chuck Blazer to US investigators told of attempts to buy the 1998 and 2010 World Cups hosted by France and South Africa respectively.

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