2017 dissertation for Master of Law in International Law and Financial Markets. Selected by academic staff as a good example of a masters level dissertation. Corruption in sports today affects virtually every nook and cranny of society going by various articles, news reports and observations daily. It is sad to learn that significant amount of money is exchanged not just between individuals but between corporations and organisations including notable world sporting bodies such as FIFA across jurisdictions and various institutions regarding sporting activities and competitions.
Many reports and articles abound of various acts of dishonesty and fraud in sports which has brought many forms of sport into disrepute, some of these have led to calls by intellectuals and sport commentators for changes and improvement in the interest of fair play and doing the right thing.
This dissertation will examine corruption in sport focussing on football’s world governing body; FIFA, the allocation of the 2018 and 2022 world cups and consider corruption scandals surrounding the Summer Olympics of 2016 and the International Olympic Committee. The focus of this study is predicated on the unbelievable cases of corruption in sports at exalted levels that have thrived for years unchecked and has almost become a way of doing things in many societies.
This will include a review of the allegations and prosecution for fraud, dishonesty and bribery against FIFA officials and related others. Widespread corruption within the Fédération International de Football Association (FIFA) has tarnished the beauty of the game of football. The perception of football being a corrupt business became more of a reality after the allegations of bribery and vote trading that surrounded the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bid process. This dissertation will consider among many arguments, the position that to restore public confidence in FIFA, specifically in the World Cup bid process, FIFA must punish individuals, nations, and confederations guilty of accepting or offering kickbacks, bribes, or vote trading, as well as protect those guilty, or reasonably believed to be guilty, of such crimes1. It has been argued that to bring about such a fundamental change, FIFA must work with other sports governing bodies to establish a World Anti-Corruption Agency. Additionally, FIFA, sports governing bodies and individuals in sport must act with honour, integrity, and transparency to regain credibility and public trust.