Corruption risk high in all levels of football

TI released a report this week looking at the publicly available information of all 209 football associations (FAs) regarding their finances, activities, governance structures, and ethics. The results show significant failures in transparency and accountability of FAs, heightening their corruption risks.

Between 2011 and 2014, FIFA distributed a minimum of US$2.05 million to each of its 209 member FAs. During that same period, FIFA also gave US$102 million to the six regional football confederations.

The study shows there is no clear way to track what the FAs do with their money:

  • 81% of FAs have no financial records publicly available
  • 21% have no websites
  • 85% publish no activity accounts of what they do.

It is clear that FIFA needs to be reformed from the bottom up as well as the top down to tackle the current corruption crisis.

Josephine Serrallach

Josephine Serrallach TINZ Director

New Zealand Football (NZF) scored well. NZF is one of only 14 football associations with top marks in all four categories. TI’s report found that these 14 football associations publish the minimum amount of information necessary to let people know what they do, how they spend their money, and what values they believe in.

"We congratulate NZF for being in the top 14. We hope NZF would sustain further scrutiny to take a leadership position in encouraging FAs throughout the world to establish accountability and controls to ensure that football is clean at all levels," says TINZ Director, Josephine Serrallach.

According to TI’s report, "Even FAs with a top score still need to reveal much more to the public about their organisation and how they spend the cash that pours in from FIFA headquarters and their own revenue-generating activities."

Especially given the behaviour of their international body, it is important that FAs implement and support anti-corruption practices, achieving higher standards of transparency and accountability. Only then can football win back trust among its fans.

Transparency International's media release is available on www.transparency.org, as is a copy of the report.

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