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359. Corruption Scandal of FIFA

By Lee, Dong-eun 기자2015.08.25 15:10:24

Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has aroused a lot of controversies and doubts in the process of hosting 2018 and 2022 World Cup. FIFA countered this criticism by arguing that this event was not entirely true upon investigation. However, the chief researcher of the investigation insisted that FIFA had released a tenth part of the corruption scandal report and had tried to reject the charge. This debate is likely to continue for the time being.


FIFA is an association governed by Switzerland law and based in Zurich. FIFA was founded on May 21, 1904 in Paris by delegates from Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. The founders created the first FIFA statutes, unifying the laws of the game to make it fair and clear to all players setting the foundation for all future football development. FIFA unites and inspires the world through its competitions and provides the stable and sustainable financial foundations that football needs to develop and prosper as a highly-popular and international sport. It has 209 member associations with its goal of constant improvement in football.


However, after the corruption scandal of FIFA, Mr. Blatter, the president of FIFA who had seized power for 17 years, said he would step down as a president of FIFA four days after his re-election to the post. Moreover, recently, Swiss prosecutors and Unites States Department of Justice prosecuted current and former executives of FIFA and sports marketing firms for taking bribes. Jérôme Valcke, the secretary general of FIFA who is the closest ally of Mr. Blatter, was implicated in the bribery case of 2010 World Cup which seemed to affect to the resignation of Blatter strongly.


The doubt that FIFA is the hotbed of corruption has been lasted from of old. As soccer has been globalized and heavily industrialized, FIFA became a strong sports organization which exerts exclusive power. However, for the fact that FIFA is a public corporation, it has been implicated in a lot of scandals during the procedures of selecting the host country, biding for the right to broadcast the games, and contracting with sponsors without taxes or surveillances. FIFA continued the so-called ‘Black connection’ between sports goods firms, political community, and the media and has reigned like the Mafia under these conditions. Unites States Department of Justice concluded provisionally that the executives of FIFA have taken bribes of 150 million dollars since 1990 in return for giving whole rights to broadcast the games to certain enterprises. Especially, experts put a 100 million-dollar price tag on the cost of bribery in regard to 2010 South African World Cup. Furthermore, many analysts cast strong doubts for another bribery scandal during the procedure of bringing in 2018 Russia World Cup and 2022 Qatar World Cup.


This scandal would be the most critical stage of FIFA for its history of 111 years that bulk of high offices were arrested, and a lot of media, experts, and people all over the world are concentrating on their corruptions. The press suggested that the most relevant cause of this scandal is the long-term seizure of power by Mr. Blatter. He and his followers, who have come to power for 17 years, dominated the whole tasks of FIFA so that FIFA could not possess the self-purification system. It just tried to eliminate the results of the internal audit and continued its way of working not to be transparent.


FIFA cannot help but being rush in renovation because of this corruption scandal and the resignation of Mr. Blatter. Transparent operation and monitoring system would be necessary for the improvement of FIFA and maintaining its reputation. Furthermore, the revolutionary change in an operation method of World Cup could be the fundamental way to prevent more corruptions. However, in a way, it is not the problem which is only relevant to FIFA. Likewise, Korean athletic circles have similar kinds of irregularities like bribery, undue favor, and embezzlement. The most fundamental cause of these kinds of scandals is the lack of ethical awareness. By this time, strong scrutiny and constant surveillance about the ethics would be needed not only in the sports corporations but also in our overall livelihood.

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