BERLIN: A remarkable survey by Transparency International has underscored a devastating lack of simple accountability across world football
Only 14 of FIFA’s 209 member associations hit a basic four-sector standard set by a TI survey – and France, Germany and Russia all managed only two out of four. Qatar managed none at all.
TI was prompted into its latest research by the corruption crisis at FIFA.
This has reached a nadir over the last six months with multiple bans prompted by the FIFAGate investigation by the United States Department of Justice and subsequent provisional suspensions imposed on president Sepp Blatter and a senior vice-president in Europe’s French leader Michel Platini.
All of this, according to TI, “has shown how badly the sport is run from the top.”
However a lack of transparency and accountability was not limited to FIFA. The world federation did not “systematically require transparency and accountability from its members, the national football associations and regional confederations.”
TI assessed all FIFA’s 209 members across four basic sectors: publication of financial reports, organisation charter, annual activity reports and code of conduct/ethics.
Only 14 of the 209 member FAs ticked all four boxes: Canada, Denmark, England, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Rep. Ireland and Sweden.
Euro 2016 host France, Germany and 2018 World Cup host Russia all fell short in two categories and a massive 87 national associations failed all four tests.
These 87 included the football association of Qatar, controversial venue for the 2022 World Cup finals. Thus none of the 87 publish any relevant information about their organisations at all.
TI reported that 42 FAs do not even have websites or websites that work.
None of the six regional confederations ticked all four boxes either.
The organisation’s central concern was that between 2011 and 2014 FIFA had distributed at least $2.05m every year to member FAs which also generate additional revenues from local sponsorship deals, government grants and ticket sales.
Hence the necessity for accountability.
TI said: “We believe fans have a right to know how the money FAs generate through their interest in football is spent, as does the general public because governments also invest taxpayers’ money in football at the national level.
“We believe greater transparency lessens the corruption risks.
“FIFA, as the custodian of the World Cup brand and the governing body of world football has an obligation to operate to the highest standards.
“The global reaction to the corruption crisis at FIFA with fans, governments and sponsors speaking out against the organisation, is testament to how important it is to have a well-run and well-respected organisation in charge of the world’s favourite game.”
TI noted that “other than a partial accounting on the FIFA website, there is no clear way to track what the FAs did with all that money.”
For example, 81pc of FAs had no financial records publicly available.
Read the full report here: