FIFA , Governance and Accountability
The FIFA ArrestsThe arrests on 26 May 2015 included top football officials. The focus of the alleged charges covers a 20-year period, with one law official quoted as saying:“We’re struck by just how long this went on for and how it touched nearly every part of what FIFA did.”Those arrested included at the time nine current or former FIFA officials, and four individual and two corporate defendants, including a former CONCAF general secretary. The majority of the scheme involves corruption over media and marketing rights to matches and tournaments.
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Football: More than a Game
GovernanceGood governance implies transparency, accountability, justification for actions, evaluation of risk, and a high degree of trust both within and outside of organisations.While FIFA governs world football, it does not govern the laws of the game. These are maintained by IFAB – the International Football Association Board. However at the heart of the ongoing FIFA issue is the need to put in place key principles of good governance – what should these be? Do they vary from place to place and sport to sport?
Power, Money and FootballDifferent countries and federations have benefited from the distribution of FIFA money. Historically the Executive Chairman has overseen the distribution of resources to countries.It was interesting to see which way the six confederations voted in the 2015 presidential elections. The English FA and David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister at the time, called for the then President to stand down, while Asia backed President Blatter, as did Vladimir Putin of Russia.One of the criticisms of the 2010 FIFA World Cup was that large amounts of money went into South Africa, but also came out. The suggestion being that the circulation of money was a way for individuals to maintain and develop a power base.No President from South Africa or indeed Africa has been elected President of FIFA and yet the game is hugely popular.
World Cup BidsThe issues surrounding World Cup bids are not about a lack of desire to spread the game around the world. Improved governance, transparency and reform will not bring back the lives of those workers who have been employed to build the infrastructure for the next Men’s World Cup in Qatar.This raises important ethical and moral questions? Will the players be comfortable in the knowledge that they could be playing in stadiums whose construction has involved the death of so many migrant workers?The current FIFA President, the ninth male was announced in February 2016 and has the huge responsibility of creating trust in world football so that the good news stories about football replace front page headlines about corruption, accountability and good governance.
Obscuring the good football can doAs we have seen in this course there are numerous examples all over the world where football has shown to be a force for good, a force for change. It has the ability to carry messages to huge audiences about racism, poverty and inequality, but recent headlines tend to obscure the progressive work that is done by organisations such as the Homeless World Cup.
Football: More than a Game
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