Lessons Learned from the Beautiful Game: Compliance, FIFA and the World Cup


The 2014 World Cup is over and in the books. It was a great tournament for probably everyone across the globe but the host nation of Brazil. While there are many lessons to be learned from this event, the lead up to and events of this year’s World Cup provide some interesting insights for the compliance practitioner. I have collected some of my writings on FIFA, the World Cup and the world of the ‘Beautiful Game’ in one volume, entitled, “Lessons Learned from the Beautiful Game: Compliance, FIFA and the World Cup”.

A. Award of the 2012 World Cup Bid to Qatar -

FIFA is known as these days, as the “world’s richest and most influential single-sport ruling body”. As has been reported extensively throughout the world, two members of FIFA’s 24 member executive committee were suspended for allegedly offering their votes to determine which countries would host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Both men were caught on videotape by the UK Sunday Times asking for specific sums of money, apparently in exchange for their votes. The New York Times (NYT), in an October 20, 2010 article, reported that Reynald Temarii, the Tahitian President of FIFA’s Oceanic regional confederation, reportedly said that he wanted “about $2.3 million to finance a sports academy” in New Zealand. Amos Adamu, the Nigerian representative, was alleged to have requested approximately $790,000 to fund the construction of soccer fields in Nigeria. Mr. Adamu reportedly asked for “cash to be paid into his personal account”. FIFA President Seth Blatter was quoted as saying that the two men’s actions had “created a very negative impact on FIFA and on the bidding process”. On November 17, 2010, the FIFA Executive Committee did take action as both men were suspended by FIFA for their actions; subsequently both men have recently had the appeals of their suspensions denied by the FIFA appeal committee. Rueter’s has reported that Adamu will appeal his upheld suspension by FIFA to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Thomas Fox, Compliance Evangelist | Attorney Advertising

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