User:JoshHeuer/Corruption in Football
Corruption in World Football
Football is one of, if not the most popular game in the world. It is watched by millions from all over the globe and supported by even more. Though recent allegations of corruption within FIFA following the bribery scandal involving the 2018 and the 2020 world cup bids has shrouded the game in a negative light to some people and it has shown a side of the world game that has not been seen before.
The problems have come about after the discovery of FIFA officials taking substantial bribes from the nations hoping to host the 2018 and the 2022 world cups. Qatar, who won the bid for the 2022 world cup, have now been stripped of the honor to host the one of the worlds largest events sporting events and Russia, who won the 2018 bid, although have not been proven guilty of corruption, are still being accused of wrong doing in their biding process.
Since this discovery it has allowed all sorts of people to question the integrity of the games officials and although the sport is still loved, it shrouds the game with bad press. In this essay I will discuss how the game itself has been affected, the impact on the players and teams, even though they played no direct part in the corruption and discuss whether or not money is beginning to change the shape of the game and the politics behind it.
Corruption in World Football
Football is one of, if not the most popular game in the world. Referred to as The World Game it is watched by millions from all over the globe and supported by even more. The Football World Cup is the showpiece of World Football. Though recent allegations of corruption within Federation International Football Association (FIFA) following the bribery scandal involving the 2018 and the 2022 World Cup bids has shrouded the game in a negative light to some people and it has shown a side of The World Game that has not been seen before.
The problems have come about after the discovery of FIFA officials taking substantial bribes from the nations hoping to host the 2018 and the 2022 World Cups. Qatar, who won the bid for the 2022 World Cup, have now been discovered to have bribed their way to hosting one of the worlds largest sporting events and Russia, who won the 2018 bid, although not proven guilty of corruption, are still being accused of wrong doing in their bidding process.
Since this discovery it has allowed all sorts of people to question the integrity of the games officials and although the sport is still loved, it shrouds the game with bad press. In this essay I will discuss how football around the world is corrupt, how corruption is affecting football and how corruption in word football is being addressed to prevent future events of this nature from ruining one of the worlds great games.
How is Football Corrupt?
Corruption within World Football is a big issue no matter which footballing nation you come from. All over the world, there are deals being made and money exchanging hands to benefit the people who don’t deserve to be part of the sport. The reason that football is so corrupt is due to the actions of clubs, agents and some officials, which are only involved in the sport for profit. Their motivation is financially driven and not focusing on the game itself.
The latest saga to bring corruption to the surface is that which is surrounding the 2018 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup Bids. Russia won the right to hold the prestigious event in 2018 and Qatar were honored to win the 2022 bid. The celebrations only lasted a short while due to the discovery of foul play during the biding process. Representatives of Qatar, Russia and FIFA officials are all being accused of making and accepting bribes, some involving large amounts of money and others making deals between countries for the benefit of their countries footballing reputation.
This is just the most recent corruption saga to strike World Football. But like the past claims this drama will eventually blow over and the fans attention will turn back onto what they care about most, the game itself.
This is not the first time that corruption has been overlooked. Juventus, one of the top Italian teams and a major competitor in world competition, were stripped of two Serie A league titles and dropped to a minor league for two seasons back in 2006 because they were found guilty of manipulating games, match officials and even players. In 2004 in Portugal, 171 people, including two mayors and a league’s president, were accused of being involved foul play and fixing championship games.
Even in China, where football isn’t the most popular sport, or the most supported at a professional level, there have been accusations of corruption. Almost any footballing nation, organization or league in the world can be accused and most likely found guilty of some form of corruption.
This is because the potential for corruption is substantial. There are large amounts of money changing hands all the time, its what helps keep the fans excited. When they see a player being sold for £50,000,000 it builds an aura of excitement. So with such extravagant amounts of money being tossed around like it is pocket change, would you not expect the people around it to think how they can get their hands on some of this wealth?
The fact is that lots of agents have found a way to get maximum profit for their clients, while they make maximum profit for themselves. They are in the position to make bribes and also receive bribes depending on which end of the deal they are on.
"I've encountered it once abroad when I was taking an international player to an Italian club and I was offered a suitcase full of money to make sure the deal went through. I didn't want it. I had no interest in it."
"Let's say I buy a player from Eastern Europe. I find out he is valued at £2million by his club. I say to that club: 'I can sell him for £5m in England? There will be £500,000 in it for you but the other £2.5m makes its way back into his account'. (http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0199-10117412/English-football-most-corrupt-in.html , retrieved 20/10/2011)
This is the main source of corruption within world football. It is not the players and the referee’s that are the keystones of this corruption, but the agents and club officials. These are the people that are handling the money; they are the ones who get sucked into temptation.
“Are agents corrupt? No, not all? But the majority.” (http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0199-10117412/English-football-most-corrupt-in.html , retrieved 20/10/2011)
These sources demonstrate that corruption is alive in football, and even those who are not looking to get involved in such a thing are tempted. This is why the game is corrupt. There is no way of making sure people don’t give into temptation as there is never and easy way of proving that is has happened. Agents and clubs work together to help look out for themselves and themselves alone and by doing so they are the reason that corruption can survive or even thrive throughout world football.
How Is Corruption effecting Football?
Corruption effects football around the globe because it destroys the respectability of the people involved in the sport such as the players and the officials and it tarnishes the image of the game. By tarnishing their image, football clubs, leagues, players and officials are liable to lose friends, fans, jobs and sponsorships all because they got involved in the dark side of football.
Corruption not only tarnishes the reputation of the players and the game but it also holds some severe consequences for those involved. Officials and players receive heavy fines and suspension for being mixed up in corruption while club officials and board leaders receive fines and most likely lose their jobs.
“Corruption destroys the essence of football.” (http://www.freedomfromfearmagazine.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=148:corruption-in-football&catid=47:issue-4&Itemid=183, retrieved 13/10/11)
This source is one example of how corruption is affecting football on a much broader spectrum. The source refers to the essence of football which can be interpreted as many different things. The values and sportsmanship the players aim to portray while on the field could be one view of the essence of the game. We can also look at the following that football has created and say that the support and love for the game that the supporters show week in and week out is the essence of football. I don’t think that it is one singular thing but the combination of all of these. The source is really telling us that no matter what the essence of football is, corruption will have negative impact on it. Corruption will manage to erode away the things that make football great and people will begin to only focus on how football is wrong and immoral due to the exposed corruption.
“The willful violation of sporting values, such as fairness and open competitions, eliminate the central meaning of the sport.” (http://www.freedomfromfearmagazine.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=148:corruption-in-football&catid=47:issue-4&Itemid=183, retrieved 13/10/11) As shown by this source we can see that if we allow things such as corruption to run wild within football, the meaning is lost. People will no longer watch and support because their love for the game has disappeared. Why would they put their time and energy towards something that they know to be rigged? The supporters understand that if corruption gets a hold of their sport that even if they do support their team it is not going to matter because the outcome is more than likely going to be decided. Corruption will affect the game from the lowest level of competitive competition right up to the champion’s league and world cup tournaments.
This just shows us how corruption is affecting football and how it will affect world football if action is not taken. Not only will the sport lose countless numbers of fans but also it will loose its respect. And if we do not do something soon, corruption will affect all levels of competition from local premier teams all the way up to the World Cup, the grand stage of football.
How is Corruption Being Handled?
After the recent World Cup corruption saga, which still is not over, the world of football is starting to realize that action needs to be taken against anyone involved in such activities. Strict punishments and consequences for those found guilty of corruption exist but there also needs to be prevention methods introduced to help stop corruption from occurring in the first place.
The big issue that faces these forces fighting corruption is lack of resources at their disposal. Without sufficient backing the required deterrents cannot be set up and therefore proper investigations are unable to take place and punishments are unable to be handed out.
But although the support may not be there yet, it is starting look better for the fight against corruption. After the recent World Cup scandal, the pressure to push an investigation was backed by majority of FIFA representatives which consisted of most, if not all of the losing countries that made bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups and most importantly the fans around the world. As a result, before an investigation could take place the head of FIFA, Sepp Blatter, Who is under high pressure to do something about these corruption claims and also under serious pressure due to the fact that he is a priority suspect in the investigation, set up three specialized task forces aiming to seek out and destroy the sources of corruption. The investigations will be looking into everyone considered to be involved. A month after this announcement there is still high pressure for Blatter to step down and report say he is considering stepping down as head of FIFA after 2 years rather than serving his full term.
The investigations are still to be carried out and if found guilty, Blatter will receive the required punishment.
Other things that are being done in the fight against corruption are the formation of special task forces, which focus solely on investigating possible corruption within all levels of football. The other main focus is finding methods on how to prevent corruption so we can stop it from happening in the first place.
In conclusion we can see that corruption in football is a big deal. Right now we are only uncovering those forms of corruption where people make a mistake and get caught, but we must look further. If we do not attack this issue head on corruption will end up dominating world football. The recent World Cup scandal is perfect evidence of this. If someone was willing to try and rig the biggest football competition in the world then what will they not try. We can already start to see the effects of corruption on football through the fans reactions and also the damage that corruption is doing to the name and reputation of FIFA and world football. Luckily enough people do care enough to do something. Special investigations are being carried out following the uncovering of the World Cup scandal. More resources are also being used towards preventing corruption rather than uncovering it because if we can catch the problem before it begins, we have already won half the battle. With these task forces being formed and with the aid of the footballing world, fans, officials and players a like, we will be able to prevent corruption in world football from continuing and focus on what really matters, the game.
- FIFA, 2011, retrieved 12/10/11, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIFA
- Corruption In Football, retrieved 15/10/11, http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Fcorruption.htm
- How much corruption is really in football?, 2011, retrieved 28/10/11, http://www.worldcupbuzz.com/how-much-corruption-is-there-in-football-and-at-a-world-cup-2284
- English Football most corrupt in all Europe, 2009, retrieved 18/10/11, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-407296/English-football-corrupt-Europe.html
- FIFA reopening corruption case, 2011, retrieved 22/10/11, http://www.france24.com/en/20111021-fifa-reopen-corruption-case-football-sepp-blatter-sport-switzerland