Transparency International

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from one of Transparency International’s national chapters. The Anti-Corruption Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International and funded by the European Union

Query

What are good practices that have been implemented in European football associations to combat organisational and institutional corruption in football?

Purpose

To support current research and recommendations made to football associations.

Content

  1. Football associations: overview of corruption risks
  2. Football associations: Methods to counter corruption risk
  3. Good practice examples
  4. References

Summary

Football is a hugely profitable industry, with great interest coming from supporters around the world, as well as from sponsors who pump in money in return for the exposure that football can offer. National football associations represent football in their country. They also operate in a very complex system of governance, as the amount of groups with interests in the sport is very high, ranging from fans and players to directors, owners and sponsors.

In this context, it is vital that national football associations maintain robust governance mechanisms that promote transparency and integrity and which actively seeks to decrease the opportunity for corrupt activity to occur. 

In Europe, there are a number of examples of national football associations beginning to understand that good governance is key to combatting organisational and institutional corruption in the sport. In recent years, both Northern Ireland and Wales have undertaken independent reviews of their governance structures and have implemented reforms to enhance transparency and integrity within the organisations.

However, no national football association, including the European football confederation, UEFA, can be seen as representing a gold standard of anti-corruption as, in general, the governance of sports organisations is weak throughout the world. Therefore, national football associations should look to good governance standards from outside the world of sport.

Authors

Ben Wheatland, Transparency International, tihelpdesk@transparency.org

Date

23/09/2015

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