This paper seeks to explore the prevalent ailment of corruption in FIFA. It analyzes the corruption issues, its effects on 2014 World Cup, and effects on upcoming World Cup competitions.
Keywords: World Cup, soccer, corruption, FIFA
For many years, soccer has been a game played all over the world. It is a worldwide sport. It is for this reason that football has been assigned managers and coaches to look after the sport. Managing a large sport like soccer comes with responsibilities. The numbers of fans that watch the sport are numerous in number, thus, control is required. The fans crowd stadiums in order to support their teams. Tickets are paid for at the stadium entrance or before the matches begin. The money got from the fans is used to support the sport and pay the players as well. Apart from that, there are funding sources that support soccer. These funding sources include corporations, banks or individual investors. FIFA is the body that governs footballs major events and tournaments all over the world. The president of FIFA since it began its operations has been Sepp Blatter.
FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association, French) is the governing organization of affiliation football, futsal and shoreline football (FIFA, 2015). It is in charge of the association of football's real universal competitions, outstandingly the World Cup which started in 1930 and the Women's World Cup which initiated in 1991. It has not, however, always been a smooth ride for the governing body as it has been associated with frequent cases of corruption. It is rather unfortunate because football is one of the biggest if not the biggest sport in the world. Frequent cases of corruption have tarnished FIFAs global image with the United States being very vocal about it (BBC, 2015).
Corruption in FIFA is a great ailment which if not addressed and cut at its roots could ruin the beautiful game that is soccer. Effects of corruption within the organization are globally catastrophic. The degree of corruption in FIFA may not be plausible, but its existence is evident. The governing body was recently in the spotlight after awarding the 2022 world cup to the state of Qatar, a move that many termed as corrupt (Davis, 2013). It was not the first time as FIFA has in the past been accused of lack of transparency and mismanagement of funds especially those set aside for less developed members. The FBI has been looking into FIFAs operations for the past 20years amidst these accusations. The Department of Justice in the United States is of a strong conviction that although corruption in FIFA is global, it is deeply rooted in the country. Top FIFA officials have been accused of match fixing practices, taking bribes, selling tickets illegally, to name but a few from the corruption basket.
Effects on the world cup 2014 Brazil
The world cup is by far the most watched sport in the world, even bigger than the Olympics. The competition is not only entertaining but also a source of revenue from sponsors, broadcasting rights and merchandising. Corruption cases were a big blow to the 2014 World Cup not only on FIFA but also on the partners and sponsors (Cowley, 2014). FIFAs corruption affiliation tainted brands of the leading sponsors and partners such as Coca-Cola, Emirates, and Johnson & Johnson among others by a great deal.
Effects on the upcoming world cups
The beauty of soccer and World Cup competitions can be attributed to the connection and cohesion between the players, fans, and FIFA. Corruption, however, disconnects these three parties and creates a gap in between. Frequent corruption cases hinder the goals that World Cups seek to achieve such as eradication of racism and match-fixing cases. Upcoming world cup competitions may not be able to focus on such pressing issues if corruption persists (Davis, 2013).
Corruption continues to cast a shadow over the sport. Upcoming world cup bidding and awarding processes will be subjected to the scrutiny that might be costly and even slow down the process. Corruption may have tainted and ruined the beautiful game (Herndon, 2015). Upcoming world cup competitions face a risk of sponsors distancing themselves to avoid affiliation not to mention the angry fans who might end boycotting.
Impact of Soccer on Hosting Country
FIFA has impacted greatly on football in the sense that the sport can now be held in different countries. There are quite a number of countries that have held football tournaments ever since FIFA was established (Cowley, 2014). As a result, the major impact created by soccer in the host countries is the improvement of the economy. Many fans show up to watch the matches and this has brought revenue to the host countries. For instance, during world cup many people flock to the stadiums in the host countries to watch the matches. Therefore, more revenue is collected from the tourists.
In addition, the relationship between the host countries and the other teams strengthens. The ties increase as a result of the friendly matches that are played. Soccer binds countries and brings peace to them. Through the games that are played in the fields the soccer mates form friendship and socialize with people from different countries. It is through socializing that good relationships are built.
The other impact that soccer has on the host country is recognition through awards. The countries that hold the world cup for instance are recognized all over the whole world. Hosting the world cup is an important aspect for these countries. Many heads of states visit the host country in a bid to watch the games. The presence of the heads of state is a good indication of the good relationship that does exist between the host countries.
Despite the fact that we have positive impacts of soccer on the host country, there are also negative impacts. For instance, violence is always reported especially when a certain team has been defeated. Therefore, the police are deployed to beef up security. Second, we have increased cases of prostitution. Prostitutes realize that the tourists and guests have brought money to the country and so they fill the streets at night.
Impact of Soccer on Fans
Soccer has many fans that come to watch the matches. Some of these fans are very addicted to the matches such that they even place bets on the games. In the event that some teams loose in the game a number of fans commit suicide. It is reported that on a year basis many fans loose in bets that they place and hence, eventually end up committing suicide (FIFA, 2015). This trend has never stopped due to the love the fans have for soccer. Sites have now developed to lure the fans to place bets on prediction on whether a team will win or lose.
Handling corruption within FIFA and the measures taken to stop it
Corruption is an offense in FIFA and it is being taken seriously. Preliminary investigations by the FBI showed that some of the top executives of FIFA were found to be corrupt. They were spending money from the organization to meet their selfish needs instead of the needs of soccer. After the government found out about their rigorous activities they set up a commission to investigate the matter. Corruption within FIFA has since tarnished the image of soccer in general and people are demoralized by these corrupt acts (Herndon, 2015).. Furthermore, the perpetrators of these acts have been arrested and are now put to trial. Investigations are still ongoing and anyone that will be found guilty will be jailed. This measure will serve as an example to all other perpetrators who only consider their selfish interests. Also, an independent body will be set up in order to vet the new executives and check their past to find out if they will be capable to fight corruption. There will also be checks and balances within the FIFA to ensure that finances are fully audited to prevent future corrupt deals.
In conclusion, world cup has become the biggest sporting activity in the world hence the desire for every nation to host it. This desire coupled up with the beauty and dominance of soccer, have given rise to corruption in FIFA which if not addressed could bring the world cup competitions and soccer as a sport to a complete overhaul.
BBC. (2015, September 25). News World Europe. Retrieved from BBC
Cowley, J. (2014, June 16). Imagining the all-too-possible. Retrieved from New Republic
Davis, N. (2013). The series of scandals have not only tainted FIFA, but undermined trust in the game as well. Energy in the Americas.
FIFA. (2015, 11 26). About FIFA. Retrieved from FIFA
Herndon, N. (2015). How Will The FIFA Scandal Impact The World's Most Popular Video Game? Forbes.
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