User:SDunk/Corruption; Sport's skeleton in the closet

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Due to the presentation aspect being unable to be uploaded to wikiversity. The 10 minute and 41 second presentation can be found on the following link:

Introduction to corruption in Sport[edit]

“In sport there are four major problems, one is hooliganism, one is doping but my motion doesn’t have anything to do with that. My motion is about corruption in sport and there are two legs to this, one is within the federations and the other is outside of that and it’s to do with result fixing and betting." - Roland Buechel (member of the Swiss parliament and represents the Swiss People's Party [SVP])1''

Sport has an enormous impact on daily life, with estimations of 900 million to 1.2 billion people2 of all ages, shapes and sizes participate. This ranges from social rock climbing, playing grassroots football or playing tennis at the Wimbledon. Not only does sport bring individuals together it also strengthens communities, national identity, pride, tourism and a country's economy.

This has been proven in events such as the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics which attracts and generates money from commercialisation, sporting development and sponsorships. Unfortunately like any industry where there are high levels of wealth and income there is an increased risk of corruption.

It is difficult to scale the scope of corruption in sport, but due to media coverage it always seems to be enhanced to the public. Corruption can sadly be found in every area of sport and in every sport. Types of corruption includes match fixing, embezzlement, misuse of funds, corruption in hosting games/events, changing match results, transfer of players, doping trade of athletes, political abuse, and elections of sporting bodies, directors and board members2.

To stop match fixing and spot betting, the Australian Federal Governments has been proactive with introducing laws and new legislation. To add to this, FIFA has introduced new reforms in order to deal with corruption.

Match officials are also under scrutiny for corruption due to their impact on the game. Further, the politics within the sport have strong influence regarding the matters that can lead to corruption.

Corruption in Big Business[edit]

Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)[edit]

File:FIFA and Fairplay.jpg
Caption:FIFA has revealed a number of reforms to stop corruption and restore credibility to world football's ruling body.

FIFA is the governing body of disputably the world's most beautiful game but it is also the world's ugliest business. On 2nd December 2010 FIFA was accused of corruption after the hosting rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were awarded. The world was confused after FIFA inspections had evaluated Russia and Qatar as the riskiest of all nominations, and yet these countries were awarded the events3. Russia was deemed to lack major infrastructure and Qatar's exceedingly hot temperatures during summer was considered to potentially cause health risks for players, officials and spectators during the World Cup. Nevertheless, President of FIFA Sepp Blatter and 24 executive committee members took no consideration of final lobbying from Prince William, David Beckham and Bill Clinton for their respective countries. To add to the mix, two members of the Executive Committee, Tahiti's Reynald Temarii and Nigeria's Amos Adamu, were caught demanding hundreds of thousands of dollars for their votes by an undercover journalist4. They each claimed that the money would be used for development projects, such as a football Academy in Auckland, New Zealand and the construction of four artificial fields in Nigeria. Both Executive Committee members had however requested that the money be paid via direct debit into their personal bank accounts. FIFA has had a longstanding reputation for corruption, and even before the Executive Committee convened there was widespread concern that the voting would be rigged and an unfair process. A recent BBC Panorama program broadcast an investigation into FIFA corruption that accused three current Executive Committee members of taking bribes in the 1990's.

Following the allegations of corruption following the announcement of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup, Sepp Blatter has announced reforms and that FIFA will make available publications of secret court documents showing FIFA senior officials had accepted kickbacks on World Cup television and sponsorship dealing during the 1900's5. Blatter stated a policy of zero tolerance in the fight against corruption within the organisation. Since this announcement two executives have been suspended and that FIFA would also release secret documents from a Swiss court that investigated the 2001 collapse of International Sport and Leisure (ISL), the former FIFA market partner. Blatter instructed that FIFA lawyers settle the case at a cost of 5.5 million Swiss Francs to protect the identities of individuals named as recipients of ISL kickbacks. The individuals named were João Havelange, Ricardo Teixeira, two FIFA committee members and Sepp Blatter. The court denied the five named of any wrongdoings as bribery was not a criminal offence in Switzerland at the time of the investigation5.

Other changes proposed are that the FIFA committee will no longer decide the host of the World Cup Finals and it will be voted by Congress to make the process less vulnerable to corruption. In addition, committee members will no longer be appointed, but will be elected by the 208 member associations of FIFA congress and they will be subject to term limits and must undergo criminal background checks5.

International Olympic Committee (IOC)[edit]

Caption:The international Olympic Committee intends using blacklists against those working in the background with athletes as part of its fight against doping.

The race to win hosting rights of an Olympics is a battle that many countries compete in. The Salt Lake City organising committee for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games went one above the bench mark by preparing a document that listed personal and family needs of IOC members. Local officials reportedly spent more than one million dollars on gifts and favors for IOC members in their quest to win hosting rights7. Other media releases regarding corruption within the IOC were in 1999 when one of the organisers of the Sydney Olympic Games admitted he offered tens of thousands of dollars to members of the IOC the night before they were awarded the games. John Coates, President of the Australian Olympic Committee and a leader of the Sydney 2000 bid, said he had offered $35,000 apiece to two African members of the IOC. Mr Coates defended himself stating that the offer was within IOC guidelines and similar to plans used by bidding competitors from Beijing and Manchester and denied the money was a bribe8. He stated that he believed that the money would go toward helping sports in Kenya and Uganda.

The president of the International Olympic Committee says the organisation will expel any members found guilty of accepting bribes. His comments follow allegations by a senior IOC official, Marc Hodler, about major votes for cash corruption scandal. Mr Hodler, an IOC member since 1963, said a group of four people, including one IOC member, had been involved in promising votes for payment although he would not identify them. He believed that 5 - 7% of the IOC's 115 members were open to bribery9.

The previous IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch said that the crisis was as serious as the political boycotts of the 1980s and Ben Johnson's drug scandal at the 1988 Seoul Games. He also said that the IOC may need to consider changing the way host cities are selected in an effort to eliminate possible corruption. He alleged that there had been abuse in voting for the 1996 Atlanta Games, the choice of Sydney for the 2000 Olympics, as well as Salt Lake City for the 2002 Winter Olympics.

"If we have to clean, we will clean, If it is necessary, we will expel members if this (investigation) commission feels these members are guilty. There are least one in 20 members corrupt." Juan Antonio Samaranch9

Corruption present in an Event[edit]

Formula One (F1)[edit]

Along with Ferraris and McLarens, corruption in F1 is known to be regular on the racing grid.

In 2006 Formula One's Bernie Ecclestone had been named by prosecutors in Germany as allegedly bribing a former banker during the sale of the sport. Gerhard Gribkowsky, in charge of the sale of Bayern LB's stake in F1, stands accused of taking a $44m bribe. In return, prosecutors alleged Mr Ecclestone received $41.4m in commissions from the bank, along with a large payment to a family trust. The allegations revolved around the sale of Bayern LB's stake in Formula 1 to private equity group CVC Capital Partners, which still own the commercial rights to the sport10. CVC said it had no knowledge of any alleged payments to Mr Gribkowsky. The firm bought majority control of F1 from Bernie Ecclestone's family trusts and a group of investment banks10. Mr Ecclestone remains F1's chief executive and retains a large shareholding in the sport.

On the Asian continent Yu Zhifei, the man responsible for bringing F1 motor racing to China, has been sentenced to four years in jail for embezzling 1m Yuan of public funds to buy state-owned property. Mr Yu who has been sacked as chief of F1 in China was also responsible for running Shanghai's Shenhau Football Club for seven years and also was a part of the negotiations for English Premier League side Manchester United to play in the city in 1999. He also established F1 in China in 2004 with the construction of the $240m track11.

There have been no acknowledgements that corruption is an issue within F1 and therefore no publicised strategies on how to reduce or combat this occurring.

Australian Football League (AFL)[edit]

Match fixing has been made public in Australia with AFL CEO Andrew Demtriou insisting that the AFL has a high risk of being affected by betting scandals and that offenders should be jailed12.

NRL also continues to battle against regular betting dramas which have seen current play Ryan Tandy and former star John Elias arrested for match fixing along with their sports agent Sam Ayoub.

An AFL match review panel provided the State Government with a report into sport betting suggesting jail for match fixing, a ban on exotic bets and a new crime name for cheating in connection with sports wagering. Demetriou suggested, after looking closely at match fixing situations in the American Football League, that gambling in the sport is the biggest risk to damaging the integrity of the code. A loss of a sports integrity can damage the overall support for a sport, thereby affecting sponsorship and other money making pathways. The cricket gambling saga and doping in cycling have proven the negative impact that this can have.

The AFL has a strong stance against any official or player betting on AFL matches. In the 2010 season they fined, suspended and stood down six league and club officials for betting on matches ranging from $1 to $20. The former Port Adelaide captain Matthew Primus was suspended for two weeks for placing a $20 bet for a friend12.

The Federal Government will push for a 10 year nationwide jail term for anyone who is involved with match fixing to prevent corruption in professional sport13. The Federal Sports Minister, Senator Mark Arbib, has supported the jail term and believes that a 10 year sentence would send the right message to those who seek to corrupt sport and fix matches. The proposal was suggested by the NSW Law Reform Commission proposing that matching fixing is one of the biggest threats to sport since doping.

Although different laws exist in each state and territory with regard to match fixing, Senator Arbib was impressed by the cooperation and desire for the nation to take action. The Minister expects State and Federal Attorney-Generals to agree on the penalties and uniform criminal law for match fixing. There have also been suggestions for laws to ban spot or exotic betting and laws against the sporting equivalent of insider trading. This law would make it an offence to leak information such as team selections to someone in the knowledge that they were going to make money from the information.

Spot betting will be applied to all major codes but the codes would be empowereed to eliminate the types of bet if they felt that the integrity of the game would be threatened. The NRL supported this ban by withdrawing betting on the first and last scoring players of the second half and betting on whether there will be a field goal scored during the match. The NRL are also removing live updates on betting odds during the game. The AFL are intending to decide which spot bets they wished to be banned.

Senator Arbib and other Ministers have suggested that a national code of conduct for sporting organisations be developed and that a national sport integrity unit be established.

Corruption on the field of play[edit]


Caption:"I think that is it time to change refereeing and to reflect on what refereeing is" - Michel Platini.

"Today, when a referee takes a decision, there are 20 cameras which show the decision. Television shows errors – but we all know that the referee can't see everything. I think that it is time to change refereeing and to reflect on what refereeing is. Sufficient referees should be deployed to cover all parts of the pitch. Today, football is the only sport where there is one referee covering the entire pitch. It is easy to show all the things that a referee can't see. One referee is not enough. Our role is to put into place a system of eyes which can cover the whole [pitch].14"- Michel Platini (Michel Platini, 31 January 2010)

Alexander Bubnov, a former Russian football player said 'Russian referees are no longer used in major competitions because of suspicions about match fixing and the scale of corruption surrounding the game in Russia has made it's bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup is unrealistic'15. The last time a Russian referee officiated in a major international match was during the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany when Portugal played Netherlands in the second round. Valentin Ivanov was criticised after his performance by FIFA for issuing 16 yellow cards and sending off four players. The German Football Association defended Ivanov saying he was simply enforcing the Laws of the Game. It is believed that referees in Russia have been bribed, beaten and murdered. Their bribes have been tens of thousands of dollars for domestic games15.

Cricket umpires have also been under the spotlight for corruption allegations with Darrell Hair demanding AUD$500,000 for ball tampering. The International Cricket Council will continue to employ the official but have suspended him from officating in any matches. Earning AUD$107,640 for his duties to the ICC, the organisation seemed unsure how to charge the umpire when little evidence apart from Hair's word that the ball was tampered by himself16.


Caption:There have been countless numbers of athletes that have been disqualified for taking performance-enhancing substances.

Athletes have also been responsible for a large majority of corruption related stories in sport, whether it has been from taking banned substances, to match fixing and illegal betting. There have been countless numbers of athletes that have been disqualified for taking performance-enhancing substances since drug testing commenced at the 1968 Olympics. Two memorable anti-doping stories are Ben Johnson and Marion Jones. Johnson dominated the 100m track race at Seoul smashing a new world record in 9.79 seconds. However a post-race drug test returned positive and he was disqualified hanging his gold medal to Carl Lewis. He was suspended and returned back to track and field where he failed a second drug test in 1993 and received a lifetime ban17.

Marion Jones during the 2000 Sydney Olympics took out the track and field winning five medals, placing first in 100 metres, 200 metres and the 4 x 100-metre relay. She won bronze medals in the long jump and the 4 x 400-metre relay. Jones admitted using performance enhancing drugs, beginning in 2000 and continuing through to 2007, the IOC disqualified Jones from all of her Olympic events from 2000 and 2004 where she returned all medals to the rightful winners18.

An end to corruption[edit]

From athletes and match officials to the competitions in which they compete, over to the organisations that are responsible for the construction and operation management of these events it is quite obvious that corruption has had a huge impact in the way of the sport's industry operations. The effect that corruption has on sport creates a negative image and the association that is related. Due to the love of sport by millions of people around the world, regardless of what scandals might go on behind the scenes it will still be supported and followed.

Only recently has FIFA acknowledged their battle with corruption and suggested a way in which to reduce further speculation. The International Cricket Council (ICC), dealt with the management of a corrupt umpire by suspending him from officiating however they continued to keep him as part of the organisation.

Whether corruption is found on the pitch or off the track, corruption and power will always be a battle that sport will have to face and manage for many years to come. One can only hope that the FIFA's President, Sepp Blatter's dream to bring corruption to an end in FIFA by 2013 can be well and truly be achieved. However, many are doubtful and believe it is futile aspiration.


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