On the day Transparency International launches its Global Corruption Report: Sport, an in-depth report looking at why sport has become so corrupt and what can be done to stop this, the anti-corruption group is also announcing the results of a new poll that shows just how much fans distrust FIFA, football’s governing body.
“As fans we have a love affair with football. 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,” said Cobus de Swardt, managing director of Transparency International.
“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,” added de Swardt.
“Public trust will only be restored in FIFA, the IAAF and the world of sport if large-scale reforms are not only implemented, but are seen to be implemented transparently. We expect real and irreversible change in 2016,” said Gareth Sweeney, editor of the Global Corruption Report: Sport.
The Transparency International/Forza Football poll showed that although most fans have no confidence in FIFA, half said it had a chance to restore its reputation:
69 per cent of fans have no confidence in FIFA.
50 per cent said that FIFA had a chance to restore its reputation.
43 per cent said the scandals are affecting how they enjoy football
60 per cent would not choose any of the current candidates standing in the FIFA presidential election this week
25,000 fans took the poll on the Forza Football app in 28 countries.
“FIFA should take this message to heart. Unless it acts more fans will turn away from football. The trust levels are low but the fans will give FIFA a chance if it acts now,” said Sweeney.
The Global Corruption Report: Sport
Tackling corruption in sport is possible. The Global Corruption Report: Sport provides a comprehensive overview of the root causes of corruption across sport and outlines evidence-based recommendations from leading experts in the field on what needs to be done to clean up sports.
The report stresses the need for greater participation of all those involved from the fans who buy tickets, the athletes who provide the entertainment to the sponsors and broadcasters who fund sports activities and the citizens of countries and cities that host big event.
The Global Corruption Report: Sport addresses corruption risks over 60 articles from a broad range of contributors, including the International Olympic Committee, UNESCO, government bodies, players’ organisations, athletes past and present, supporters groups, civil society, academics and journalists.
Topic covered include political interference in Asian football, corruption trends in African sport, and corruption risks in the football transfer market and there are more than 15 country specific articles: labour rights in Qatar, the World Cup legacy and Olympics in Brazil, financing the Sochi Winter Olympics, following the World Cup money in Russia, political control of football in Hungary, governance of cricket in Bangladesh, ownership of football clubs in the UK, corruption in US collegiate sports and more.
The Global Corruption Report: Sport puts forward a series of detailed recommendations including:
Increased independent oversight in international sports governance.
Stringent and transparent criteria for eligibility, plus independent verification for all senior decision-making positions.
Increased financial transparency in all sports associations, the money they make and how it is disbursed, far beyond minimum legal requirements of host countries.
Citizen engagement in bids for major sporting events and the need for formal safeguards to stop corruption and all human rights, labour, environmental and social sustainability abuses.
The need for sponsors to promote integrity and hold sports organisations to the same standards that they apply to their supply chain.
Further exploration of the need for a global anti-corruption sports agency.
Transparency International calls for these recommendations to be applied to all international sports organisations, particularly those facing corruption scandals such as the IAAF in athletics. It will also use them as a checklist for FIFA reform in the first 100 days under its new president to be elected on 26 February.