Sports Integrity Initiative: FIFA, Gender and Corruption – Everything is fine today, that is our illusion

Governance, Sports Law

Over the past few years the fight for equality between the sexes in sport has been gaining momentum. Arguments in favour of increased investment, sponsorship and media coverage in women’s sport are now being heard on multiple platforms and the efforts to implement appropriate practices are increasing. 

While the on-field fight is an important one, an area in which less fanfare is made, but in which there is arguably even greater inequality, is the one found behind the scenes, beyond the glamour and glare of the spotlight – those of the sports administrators. Traditionally these roles draw little attention anyway; a smooth operation should appear as though there isn’t an administration in place at all. However with the onset of the FIFA corruption scandal, the administration of the world’s most powerful sports governing body has tumbled headfirst into the limelight.

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Sports Integrity Initiative: Film Review – Death of a Gentleman – is cricket dying in more ways than one?

Governance, Sports Law

Cricket is unique. It is considered the world’s second most popular sport. Yet, unlike football, some of the biggest countries in the world – the USA, China, and Germany for instance – barely know it even exists. Earlier this summer the FIFA corruption scandal made headlines the world over and it was the US’s Department of Justice who were the instigators of legal action against those involved. In cricket, the actions of the game’s administrators are less obvious, less accountable. It is for this reason that the film, Death of a Gentleman, is so integral to drawing attention to the game’s administration. The film’s producers claim that ‘a lack of independent regulation means cricket is being run in a way that fans become chequebooks and players become pawns.’ The Sports Integrity Initiative, an independent sports law platform created to air key issues in sports integrity and to provide a platform for change, has reviewed the film to highlight the integrity and governance aspects of the sport.

Sports Integrity Initiative: FIFA officials arrested in Zurich pending extradition to the USA

Governance, Sports Law

The Swiss Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) today confirmed that at the request of US authorities, the Zurich Cantonal Police have arrested six ‘soccer’ officials in connection to bribery allegations, who have been detained pending extradition to the US. ‘The FOJ’s arrest warrants were issued further to a request by the US authorities’, read an FOJ statement. ‘The US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York is investigating these individuals on suspicion of the acceptance of bribes and kick-backs between the early 1990s and the present day. The bribery suspects – representatives of sports media and sports promotion firms – are alleged to have been involved in schemes to make payments to the soccer functionaries – delegates of FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) and other functionaries of FIFA sub-organisations – totaling more than US$100 million. In return, it is believed that they received media, marketing, and sponsorship rights in connection with soccer tournaments in Latin America. According to the US request, these crimes were agreed and prepared in the US, and payments were carried out via US banks.’