Analysing Threat by Corruption to Business of Football

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To what extent is corruption a serious threat to the football business?

Student ID No’s:: 200772857 Module Leader: Rory Miller

Analysing Threat by Corruption to Business of Football
Corruption in sports has been present since historic times. The first documented case of corruption in international sports is attributed to the athlete Eupolos of Thessalia who successfully bribed three of his competitors in the fist combat tournament at the Olympic Games of 388 BC, among them the reigning Olympic champion. (Maennig, W; European Sport Management Quarterly, June 2005). Corruption in sports in recent times has been highlighted very frequently. With cases of athletes refraining from achieving the level of performance required to win and paving the way for competitors’ victory or sporting officials consciously carrying out their duties with variance in moral affecting the result of the game for financial advantage coming to light over and over again, entire image of sport being symbol of purity is threatened to get tarnished. On one hand, competition judges and other officials are increasingly becoming involved in corruption, whilst, in contrast to previous eras, athletes and trainers are directly involved less frequently. On the other hand a tendency towards an increased number of cases of management corruption in sport has also been observed (Maennig, W; IASE/NAASE Working Paper Series, August 2008). These events eliminate unpredictability from sports thus threatening its basic fundamental or nature by making it orchestrated and more of an entertainment. The massive commercialisation in sports has not only brought massive amounts of money but has also opened the floodgates for corruption. This essay studies the extent of corruption in the business of football and explores the threats it presents to present and future of the game across the world.

Football undoubtedly being the world’s most famous sport had to attract immense commercial interest. In the past few decades, the role of football has tremendously changed and is dominated by business acumen. As football has become global phenomenon it has attracted massive media interest to generate huge revenues owing to spectatorship of the matches all over the world. Super stars receive big pay cheques and clubs trade these players for colossal sums of wealth. It is estimated that atleast GBP 1 billion were spent on advertising in connection with the 2010 Fifa World Cup (devere-group). FIFA alone made a surplus of USD 613 million. With cash flows of these kinds, corruption often follows. The core asset of sport is integrity and fair play but these values are perilously threatened by corruption. Though there have been several attempts to put into practice code of conduct and governance, these efforts have been unable prevent or check malpractices in the sport. With federations being blamed for corrupt practices, clubs having lack of transparency and accountability in their management, money laundering cases coming out in open and referees being involved in match fixing, the beautiful game has not remained immune to corruption. Corruption in the sport and its business can broadly be divided in two categories based on the nature place and parties involved in such activities. First where the people involved are in the management cadre of the sport and are associated either to the club’s management, sporting bodies and any other affiliates and exploitation is carried out through management decisions. The second category involves the players , match officials, referees, coach etc... where in the result of the game is influenced through the malpractices of those involved by activities carried out on the pitch. The diagram below shows the two categories. ‘Management Corruption’ refers to the non competition decisions made by sport officials, bodies, management the activities involved...
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