September 22, 2021

Transparency International calls on FIFA to address fraudulent activity in football

2 min read

The editor of Transparency International’s corruption in sport report, Gareth Sweeney, has called on FIFA to act immediately if it wants salvage it reputation.

TOPSHOT – A FIFA employee walks past a sign of the FIFA at the headquarters on December 3, 2015 in Zurich. The unprecedented corruption scandal engulfing FIFA widened on December 3 with the arrests of two more top officials in another dramatic dawn raid at a luxury hotel in Zurich. / AFP / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

FIFA has been accused of betraying football fans by anti-corruption campaign body Transparency International, which has demanded “irreversible change” from the organization in 2016.

Transparency International recommended FIFA increased independent oversight, more financial transparency, formal safeguards to protect human rights, and sponsors to hold organizations to account when corrupt activity is uncovered.

“We’re hopeful that FIFA can turn itself around,” Mr Sweeney told Goal ahead of the report’s release. “We wouldn’t want to see a situation in which football splits off like boxing or other sports into separate federations.

The publication of Global Corruption Report: Sport on Tuesday comes ahead of Friday’s Extraordinary FIFA Congress in Zurich.

In addition to electing a new president to replace Sepp Blatter, FIFA will vote on whether or not to implement the recommended reform proposals that would bring about sweeping changes within football’s governing body.
“Public trust will only be restored in FIFA, the IAAF and the world of sport if large-scale reforms are not only implemented,” he said, “but are seen to be implemented transparently. We expect real and irreversible change in 2016.”

Transparency’s Global Corruption Report: Sport publication contains over 60 articles from experts working for the anti-corruption body, former athletes, investigative journalists, and academic researchers.

The 398-page report addresses issues that are plaguing all sports – such as match-fixing, bribery in major event hosting, and media integrity – but there’s a particular focus on football.

“As fans we have a love affair with football,” Cobus de Swardt, managing director of Transparency International, explained. “When our teams win we are ecstatic, when they lose we are devastated. But when results – whether of games, or rights for hosting events, elections, etc. – are driven not by fair competition, but by corruption, we feel betrayed.

“Sport should be a force for good in the world but the latest scandals not only in football, but in athletics and tennis, have exposed just how vulnerable it is to corruption. This must stop now.”

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