B Explanatory memorandum
by Mr Rochebloine, rapporteur
1.1 Terms of reference and stages
of the drafting of the report
On 7 July 2010, with some colleagues, I tabled a
motion for a resolution on “Good governance and sport ethics” (Doc. 12336
). On 4 October 2010, this motion was referred for report
to the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media, which
appointed me rapporteur on 7 October 2010.
On 29 June 2011, a motion for a resolution on “More transparency
and accountability at FIFA” was tabled by Mr Pieter Omtzigt and
several of his colleagues (Doc.
). The Assembly referred it on 3 October 2011 to the
Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media, to be taken
into account in the preparation of the present report.
On 6 December 2011, the committee held a hearing with the
- Ms Maud De
Boer-Buquicchio, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe;
- Mr Bernard Amsalem, President, French Athletics Federation
(FFA) and Head of Mission for the London 2012 Olympic Games;
- Mr Jean-Pierre Mougin, Secretary General, French National
Olympic and Sport Committee (CNOSF);
- Mr Dominique Rocheteau, former President of the Ethics
Committee of the French Football Federation (FFF) and Member of
the Ethics Committee of FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football
- Mr Frédéric Sitterlé, President, Racing Club de Strasbourg;
- Ms Maryse Ewanjé-Epée, former athlete and journalist,
- Mr Andrew Jennings, investigative journalist, United Kingdom,
who had previously prepared, at my request, a report on problems
of corruption within FIFA, which was distributed during this hearing.
4. Following this hearing, I decided to analyse in greater detail
the issues relating to ethics, good governance and transparency
in sports institutions, and in particular in FIFA. In this context,
I met, on 15 December 2011, Mr Julien Zylberstein, who is responsible
for European Affairs at the Union of European Football Associations
(UEFA); then I met, on 17 January 2012, Ms Fani Misalidi, official
in charge of European Affairs in FIFA's Directorate of Legal Affairs.
In addition, I organised, on 26 January 2012, an exchange of views with
Mr Nicolas Maingot, FIFA's Deputy Director of Communications and
Public Affairs; Ms Fani Misailidi was also present. I would like
to thank these experts for their valuable contributions.
5. Through the committee Secretariat, I also contacted Mr Thomas
Hildbrand, the Public Prosecutor in the Canton of Zug (Switzerland),
who dealt with the ISL case (which Mr Andrew Jennings referred to
at the hearing), in order to find out whether it would be possible
to interview or meet him. To this end, a letter was also sent to
the Chief Public Prosecutor of the Canton of Zug, Mr Christian Aebi.
Consultations took place with Switzerland's Ministry for Foreign
Affairs, which granted permission to transmit the information I
had requested. Subsequently, the general public prosecutor asked
the Zug High Court to declassify the file concerned. The High Court
granted this application by order of 14 February 2012.
1.2 Scope of the investigation
and purpose of the report
Sport is commonly linked to a number of values associated
with a person’s self-relationship (commitment, effort, discipline,
strength of character, spirit of sacrifice, seeking to improve their
own performance while at the same time accepting their own limits)
and relations with others (solidarity and team spirit, loyalty and
playing by the rules, as well as showing respect for opponents and
recognising their merits).Note
7. Moreover, sports competitions have an extremely important
social dimension in providing opportunities for different people
to meet. Thus, sport goes beyond the individual dimension and is
expected to be a vehicle for peace, friendship and mutual respect
between the members of a society and between different peoples. Therefore,
sport is more than a spectacle: it is a societal phenomenon at the
8. The image of sport and of sportsmen and women is a powerful
means of conveying these values and positive behavioural models,
especially to young people. However, the benefits of sport and its
contribution to the construction of a better society are closely
linked to what is termed “sport ethics”, which refers both to the sportsperson’s
personal moral integrity and to the collective integrity of sports
teams, associations or companies, or even supporters. Without respect
for these ethics, the image of sport becomes tarnished and the message
conveyed becomes unhealthy and even dangerous.
9. The European Union and the Council of Europe have conducted
many studies on subjects linked to the idea of integrity and ethics
in sport. The most important and most sensitive issues include doping,
racism and spectator violence and have been dealt with in previous
Parliamentary Assembly reports, as well as being the subject of
two Council of Europe conventions. It is not our intention to return
to them in the context of this report.
10. The starting point for this report is recognition that the
affirmation of, and effective compliance with, ethical principles
are seriously jeopardised not only by economic interests (individual
or collective) but also by power struggles within sports bodies
(clubs and federations). These factors pose a challenge to the ethics
of sport in that they transform the organisation and running of
sports competitions into opportunities for unfair conduct, cheating,
fraud and illicit earnings, and even abuse, especially of young
sportsmen and women.
11. Unfortunately, there is no lack of front-page stories, such
as the widespread bribery of football referees in the “Calciopoli”
affair in Italy, the life ban on all football-related activities
imposed on Mohammed Bin Hammam for vote-buying during the FIFA presidential
election, or the bankruptcy of several professional clubs in England,
France, Italy and Spain. Moreover, the sports scandals that come
to light are only the tip of the iceberg; experts are fully aware
that the hidden part, largely unknown to the public, is even bigger
and of a more worrying dimension.
12. Beyond the punishment of criminal law offences, the aim of
this report is to consider whether and how it would be possible
to take action at the level of sports bodies’ management and governance
apparatus in order to deal more effectively with the ethical risks
brought about by economic or power-related issues.
13. Good governance, at all levels, is a necessary condition for
ethics in sport. Therefore, the relationship between “good governance”
and “ethics” in the world of sport is the core issue of our study.
It is football that often first springs to mind when mention is
made of the notion of good governance and ethics in sport. However, the
problems identified in this report affect all sports disciplines,
to varying degrees depending on circumstances. The following sections
examine three particularly complex and important issues: “financial
fair play”, “the protection of young migrant sportsmen and women”
and “good governance and transparency in sports institutions”.
2 Financial fair play
14. The world of sport, especially at the professional
level, is closely associated with highly lucrative commercial activities.
The continuous development of the economic dimension of sport, which
is also supported by its internationalisation, is reflected, inter alia, in the amounts spent
on purchasing television broadcasting rights, in transfer fees and
the salaries paid to sportspeople by the most prestigious clubs
and in the advertising contracts negotiated by sports goods manufacturers.
Even the economic crisis has not really put a check on spiralling
costs, and the amounts of money involved are rising all the time.
15. The uncontrolled emergence of purely financial considerations
increases the risk of abuse. It is therefore essential for the European
sports economy to remain firmly anchored in a set of fundamental
values that enable a certain ethical position to be maintained.
“Financial fair play” is a key concept employed in this connection.
16. This concept links the traditional notion of sporting fair
play to the financial dimension of the management of sports clubs
(associations or companies), so the general notion of sporting fair
play is a good starting point for achieving a better understanding
of the specific notion of financial fair play, before going on to
examine the mechanisms to guarantee financial fair play introduced
in France and then at the European level and discussing the problems
that remain and how to deal with them.
2.1 From sporting fair play to
financial fair play in sport
17. The Code of Sports Ethics appended to Recommendation
No. R (92) 14 rev. of the Committee of Ministers states that fair
play is much more than playing by the rules and also incorporates
the concepts of respect for others and playing in the right spirit
(paragraph 5). Fair play is therefore at odds with all forms of violence,
exploitation and unequal opportunities; with corruption, as well
as excessive commercialisation; and with doping and cheating, as
well as the art of employing trickery while keeping within the rules.
18. The Code of Sports Ethics emphasises that “ethical considerations
leading to fair play are integral, and not optional elements, of
all sports activity, sports policy and management, and apply to
all levels of ability and commitment, including recreational as
well as competitive sport” (paragraph 1).
19. It also stresses that “[t]he potential benefits to society
and to the individual from sport will only be maximised where fair
play is moved from the peripheral position it currently occupies
to centre stage” (paragraph 7) for everyone involved, ranging from
individuals as spectators or supporters to governments (at all levels)
and also involving teachers and instructors, sportspeople (especially
top sportsmen and women who act as role models) and those who assist
them (trainers, doctors, etc.), referees, commercial operators,
the media and sports organisations, especially the sports federations
and governing bodies.
20. Sport remains a specific activity that cannot be entirely
compared to other economic activities. It has its own particular
values, which must be emphasised by those who govern, supervise
and engage in it, a social function, which requires that the sporting
community should continue to set an example, and a specific dimension
associated with the part played by the concept of the “game” and
the uncertainty inherent in a sports competition – a dimension that
underlies public attachment to the sporting spectacle.
21. This justifies that professional sports clubs should be required
to accept additional restrictions compared with those normally imposed
on commercial companies. It is not simply a question of playing
by the rules that apply to every economic activity in a market economy,
but also of mitigating certain effects that the application of the
principles of the free market may have, for the sake of preserving
sport’s inherent values and its key social function.
22. It was first of all in the world of professional football
that the need for action to ensure better financial discipline became
apparent. For several years now, spending on players’ salaries and
transfer fees has followed an upward trend and there has been a
general deterioration in the finances of football clubs, several of
which have repeatedly sustained losses, some of them very considerable.
23. The income of football clubs – especially from television
broadcasting rights but also from sponsorship and merchandising
– has risen, but their expenditure has soared. The main cause of
the budgetary imbalance is salaries, which have gone through the
roof in the last fifteen years and constitute an increasingly heavy burden
on clubs’ accounts in Europe (for example, 74% of the turnover of
French League 1 clubs in 2010, compared with 61% in 2006).
24. Roughly half of European clubs are in deficit and the five
most important European football leagues are in debt. Paradoxically,
it is the big and richest clubs that run up huge debts. For example,
Manchester United’s debts currently amount to more than €800 million,
and FC Barcelona posted a deficit of €77 million for the 2009-10
25. This situation is perceived not only as a source of concern
with regard to the sustainability of European football, but also
as a source of inequalities since small and medium-sized clubs cannot
have the same resources as big clubs. Comparing this situation with
other economic sectors, it could be said that the major clubs have
a dominant position and exploit it to the full.
26. It should be stressed that worrying signs of an escalation
of professional players’ salaries are now emerging in other team
sports in Europe. Without wishing to deny top sportsmen and women
the right to be paid a salary commensurate with the economic benefits
they generate for their employers, the excesses currently condemned
in the world of male professional football should not be replicated
in sports like rugby, basketball or team cycling.
27. There is also a need to protect the development of female
team sports from these excesses while at the same time bearing in
mind the very important (perhaps too important) difference that
currently exists between the pay of sportsmen and sportswomen.
2.2 Rules guaranteeing financial
fair play in France and in Europe
In the European context, the situation of French
professional football is an exception. A National Directorate of
Management Control (Direction nationale du contrôle de gestion –
DNCG) has been set up within the French Football Federation (Fédération
Française de Football – FFF).Note
season, the DNCG’s committee responsible for overseeing professional
clubs (Commission de contrôle des clubs professionnels) reviews
the legal and financial situation of all League 1 and League 2 clubsNote
on the basis of the financial information
(historical and projected) they provide.
The main objective of this review is to ensure the sustainability
and fairness of competitions, especially by verifying that each
club’s expenditure does not exceed its financial capacities. In
order for the DNCG to be able to carry out this task, clubs have
transmission of documents (accounts, financial, legal, etc.);
- bookkeeping (for example, the obligation to follow the
model chart of accounts adopted by the FFF);
- subjection to review procedures (on the basis of document-based
and on-the-spot checks).
30. If clubs fail to comply with these obligations and/or depending
on their financial situation, the DNCG can take action against them
with a view to avoiding mismanagement. In particular, it can impose
staffing sanctions (such as a partial or total ban on recruiting
new players; controlled recruitment with a cap on the proposed budget
or payroll; a restriction on the number of players who may be transferred
to the first team) and can take decisions on the club’s participation
in competitions (relegation, ban on moving up to the next division, exclusion
from competitions). Appeals may be lodged against these decisions
with internal bodies and subsequently with the administrative courts.
31. This mechanism has improved the transparency of club budgets
and enabled their financial management to be put on a sounder footing.
The budgetary rigour imposed on them helps to ensure a balance in
the transfer market. However, although the measures taken by the
DNCG strengthen ethics in sport in France, they (to some extent)
place French clubs at a disadvantage vis-à-vis other clubs, which
face different financial conditions depending on the country where
In order to remedy this inequality, the introduction of a
system at European level had become desirable. At the instigation
of its president, Mr Michel Platini, UEFA therefore proposed imposing
controls on the finances of European football clubs, and, in May
2010, it approved the Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations,Note
setting up at the European level
a monitoring system pursuing similar objectives to the French DNCG.
In particular, as their Article 2.2 states, these regulations
“aim to achieve financial fair play in UEFA club competitions and
a to improve the
economic and financial capability of the clubs, increasing their
transparency and credibility;
b to place the necessary importance on the protection of
creditors by ensuring that clubs settle their liabilities ...;
c to introduce more discipline and rationality in club football
d to encourage clubs to operate on the basis of their own
e to encourage responsible spending for the long-term benefit
f to protect the long-term viability and sustainability
of European club football.”
34. All the provisions concerning financial discipline of clubs
came into force on 1 June 2011. The tangible measures to achieve
the regulations' aims include the obligation for clubs to provide
detailed accounting information and to balance their books: they
must not spend more than the income they generate. High-risk clubs
will have to submit strategic plans.
Club accounts will be subjected to a multi-annual assessment
by the Club Financial Control Panel, which has been set up to ensure
that all clubs comply with these new rules. Implementation will
be gradual and a deviation from the requirements within prescribed
limits will be tolerated.Note
clubs failing to comply with the budget balance requirements, sanctions
may range from a ban on recruitment to exclusion from European competitions.
36. The first sanctions could be imposed in 2013 and a ban on
participating in European competitions in 2014-15. UEFA has stated
that the regulations will be applied in the same way to all clubs,
including the biggest clubs. To give an idea of the potential impact
of these measures, suffice to say that 11 of the 32 clubs playing in
the Champions League in the 2010-11 season did not meet the financial
fair play requirements.
2.3 Remaining problems concerning
the implementation of financial fair play and points for discussion
37. However, the measures introduced by UEFA cannot fill
the gap between European clubs. Clubs do not generate the same income,
and the richest ones will therefore continue to attract the best
players. In addition, UEFA will not (at least at this stage) impose
sanctions for the debts already run up by clubs, even though the financial
stabilisation measures will have to take account of the level of
repayment of these debts.
38. It is still too early to judge whether, and to what extent,
the need to reduce expenditure will result in a drop in salaries
and whether that reduction will actually affect all players (including
those at the top). Clubs will no doubt try to supplement their income
if possible. They could for example call on sponsors to invest more
so as to reduce or eliminate their deficits.
39. Care will have to be taken to prevent any circumvention of
the financial fair play rules in this way. A case in point is Manchester
City, which has entered into a contract estimated at £400 million
(over €450 million) with the airline Etihad. Etihad belongs to the
Abu Dhabi royal family, and the Abu Dhabi United Group, which is
led by Suleiman Al-Fahim, owns Manchester City. In order to avoid
improper transactions of this kind, UEFA should prohibit clubs from
sponsoring themselves or using associated bodies to do so. There
is also a need to monitor the “purchases” of sponsors, who should
not overpay for the rights they acquire.
40. Another concern is that clubs will be tempted to conceal their
deficits by “creative accounting” or illegal operations (such as
paying part of salaries “under the table”), which UEFA would then
find hard to detect. Is it therefore necessary to envisage other
41. The desirability of imposing a salary cap on clubs and/or
limiting the number of professional contracts that sports companies
may enter into (which is tantamount to limiting the number of professional
players who can be recruited into a team) has been discussed. Such
restrictions are actually applied as sanctions by the French DNCG.
The general application of one or the other measure would no doubt
foster improved budgetary control but it would also have some major
42. For example, the imposition of a salary cap could increase
the temptation to reduce the pay of less well-known players (especially
young players or players from African or Asian countries), to enter
into secret deals or to reach arrangements with sponsors to transfer
part of the costs to them (in return for benefits provided at below
the normal rate). Moreover, this measure does not seem to command
much support. Limiting the number of professional contracts would
not help to bring down big salaries and could also penalise young
players and deprive a large number of them of real opportunities
to establish themselves. Furthermore, it could ultimately have an
impact on training policies.
43. In both cases, the difficulty in applying the same standards
to everyone everywhere is a fundamental problem: there are many
variables from one country to another, depending on circumstances,
and uniform treatment could lead to injustices. On the other hand,
it does not seem conceivable to adopt standards that vary case by
case, as it would then be misleading to speak of common standards.
Consequently, it seems very unlikely that agreement can be reached
on such measures at the international level, which explains the
simpler solution chosen by UEFA, namely making it compulsory to
achieve a degree of budget balance.
44. It should be noted that part of the problem lies in the differences
between national legislations and in the support indirectly given
to clubs by public authorities. Taxes and charges differ from country
to country; these factors have a clear impact on expenditure associated
with players’ salaries and, consequently, distort competition to
some extent. In addition, local and national loyalties should not
translate into unfair financial support for certain teams.
45. This poses the question at which point competition between
clubs can significantly be distorted, and some clubs enjoy an undue
advantage, as a result of the financing of sports infrastructure,
its sale to sports companies or placing on loan to teams, the granting
of subsidies, loans, tax breaks or other financial benefits, gifts,
the purchase by public authorities of advertising space or, indeed,
facilities belonging to clubs, or other measures to support sports
companies. For example, in the early 2000s Real Madrid was able
to sell its training ground back to the city for more than €400
There is a need for strict application of the ban on State
aid for professional sports companies – which are, by definition,
engaged in economic activities and are therefore covered by the
term “undertaking” for the purposes of Community law.Note
greater financial transparency should be required at national level
in all transactions involving the use of public funds for the benefit
of professional sport. This is in order to avoid taxpayers having
to pay for the survival of companies incapable of introducing sound
47. Finally, States could support the efforts of the national
and European federations through greater harmonisation of accounting
rules for sports clubs, with the specific goal of increasing financial
transparency and preventing opaque accounting operations and tricks
designed to circumvent the rules on balancing the books.
3 Protection of young migrant
sportsmen and women
48. The migration of sportsmen and women to Europe is
not a recent phenomenon. It already existed in the early days of
modern sport at the end of the 19th century but was not very common.
Globalisation has led to its becoming widespread and internationalised.
It is not rare today for football, basketball, ice hockey or handball
clubs to have a majority of players who are not nationals of the
country in which they play.
Sport sets young people dreaming. Despite the few opportunities
available to become professional sportsmen and women, many young
people live under the illusion that they personally will succeed.
Europe, whose prestigious leagues attract young people from all
over the world (in particular from Africa and South America), has
had to contend with a migratory influx of young footballers, more
so than other continents. This migration takes place in the form
or trials, and the number is rising.
Migration of sportspeople who are minors raises both legal
and ethical issues.Note
To date, the answers are insufficient;
there is therefore a need to consider more in depth how to deal
with this phenomenon.
3.1 Problems associated with the
migration of young sportsmen and women: serious but less noticeable
51. Since the 1980s, sports clubs have developed into
professional sports companies and now have financial resources that
enable them to look for young talents farther and farther afield.
They have also set up academies (coaching centres) to coach the
talents of tomorrow, and this encourages them to seek out foreign sportsmen
and women of an increasingly young age.
52. Some football clubs, such as AJ Auxerre in France, Ajax Amsterdam
in the Netherlands, FC Barcelona in Spain and Arsenal FC in England
are designated “training clubs”. They are recognised for the quality
of their training for young people and generally provide other clubs
with young players. To take one example, Lionel Messi, the Argentinian
currently considered the best football player in the world, arrived
in Barcelona at the age of 13.
However, Messi is today no longer an exceptional case. According
produced statistics on transfers of professional players in 2010,
7.38% of initial international migration takes place before the
age of 18,Note
is a significant percentage.
Moreover, in certain cases, those concerned are clearly children.
Manchester United had already hit the headlines in 2007 when recruiting
an Australian 9-year-old boy after watching a DVD sent by a member
of his family.Note
In 2011, Manchester United recruited
a 5-year-old English boy spotted at the age of 3.Note
is now training every day in Manchester as a professional. Also
in 2011, Real Madrid recruited a 7-year-old Argentinian boy, shortly
after his arrival in Spain.Note
55. Account is rarely taken of the fact that the young sportsmen
and women in question are taken a long way from where they have
emotional ties (family, friends, home, etc.) to a destination that
they usually do not know, a country whose language they may not
speak and with a culture and rules that are foreign to them (food, religious
beliefs, administrative arrangements and procedures, dress, weather,
rules of hygiene, etc.).
56. Furthermore, even more difficult situations may arise if the
individual is relocated and accommodated not after but in advance
of the conclusion of a contract and subject to tests being carried
out or to a trial period. The non-renewal of a contract with the
sportsperson in question may pose similar problems if it is not accompanied
by a new transfer. Some young people may therefore be tempted to
choose to become clandestine.
57. In some serious cases, it is fair to speak of genuine exploitation,
including with the family’s complicity. Unfortunately, there are
cases where the family and friends of a young sportsman seek to
benefit financially from his talent, sometimes even to the detriment
of his balanced psychomotor development. Many parents try to “sell”
their children to clubs, academies or sports agents in order to
send them to Europe, where living conditions are much better than
in their country of origin, and then follow them there.
58. The emergence of swindlers and rogue agents, of profiteers
who abuse the trust of young people to make money totally illegally,
is another worrying phenomenon and may have very serious consequences.
After a trial that does not work out and, indeed, after unscrupulous
intermediaries have failed to meet commitments, many young people
attracted to Europe by the dream of playing for a major club are
abandoned every year, without any money or papers. An association
in the Paris area takes in hundreds of young Africans who find themselves
in this situation each year. It is essential to combat such practices
vigorously and to better protect these young people.
The Study on Sports Agents in the European Union, which was
commissioned by the European Commission and was published in 2009,Note
describes a “classic scenario of
trafficking in football players”, which offers a good illustration
of the damage for which these agents are liable. It is stated, in
particular, that: “very few players … are recruited or given a contract
in relation to the high numbers who travel to Europe, which results
in a large population of destitute persons who are reluctant to
return to their countries of origin and who try to remain in Europe
at any price”.
60. Even apart from the cases mentioned above, other problems
arise for young migrant sportsmen and women. They are particularly
vulnerable to discrimination and abuse because they are unaware
(or have little knowledge) of their rights and, in particular, the
national employment laws of the country to which they have travelled.
They also face difficulties in becoming integrated into the host
country and are at risk of losing their cultural identity: for a
young African, Asian or American sportsperson, the experience of
a different language, food and quality of life following a brutal
change of environment may result in the loss of his or her culture
of origin and in the total loss of points of reference at the psychological
level. Another risk is that they may sacrifice their education or
drop out of school. Although there is a clear obligation in some
sports to attend school, many top sportsmen and women choose to
pursue their sporting career to the detriment of their education
because their very full daily training schedule does not enable
them to engage in other activities.
3.2 The international legislative
framework: the principal benchmark provisions
A first set of benchmark provisions for the protection
of sportspeople who are minors wishing to migrate is the International
Convention on the Rights of the ChildNote
by the United Nations General Assembly in its Resolution 44
/25 of 20 November 1989). Article 11 provides: “States
Parties shall take measures to combat the illicit transfer and non-return
of children abroad”. Sport should not be used as a reason for derogating
from this principle, so the term “illicit transfer” is entirely
relevant to sports-related migration. In addition, according to
Article 19, “States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative,
administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child
from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse,
neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation …”.
This provision clearly plays a role in certain particularly serious
situations of exploitation and neglect.
62. Rules similar to those of the United Nations convention can
be found at the European level in the Council of Europe’s European
Social Charter (revised) (ETS No. 163). With regard to the rights
of children and young people to social, legal and economic protection,
it provides: “[w]ith a view to ensuring the effective exercise of the
right of children and young persons to grow up in an environment
which encourages the full development of their personality and of
their physical and mental capacities, the Parties undertake … to
take all appropriate and necessary measures designed … to protect
children and young persons against negligence, violence or exploitation”
63. The Social Charter enshrines in its Article 19 the “right
of migrant workers and their families to protection and assistance”.
This article includes several specific provisions, including the
parties’ commitment to “adopt appropriate measures within their
own jurisdiction to facilitate the departure, journey and reception
of such workers and their families, and to provide, within their
own jurisdiction, appropriate services for health, medical attention
and good hygienic conditions during the journey” (Article 19.2).
64. Certain cases of psychological or physical abuse of young
sportsmen and women could even come under the definition of “trafficking”
within the meaning of the Council of Europe Convention on Action
against Trafficking in Human Beings (CETS No. 197). For the purposes
of this convention: “‘[t]rafficking in human beings’ shall mean
the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt
of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms
of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse
of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving
of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having
control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation” (Article
65. In addition, “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring
or receipt of a child [this term referring to any person under 18
years of age] for the purpose of exploitation shall be considered
‘trafficking in human beings’ even if this does not involve any
of the means set forth in sub-paragraph (a) of this article” (Article
The issue of international transfers of players who are minors
is the subject of specific provisions of the FIFA Regulations on
the Status and Transfer of Players,Note
Article 19 of which states: “[i]nternational
transfers of players are only permitted if the player is over the
age of 18”. It is therefore surprising to note the number of transfers
of under-age players.
Part of the explanation lies in the fact that the same article
provides for three exceptions to the principle it establishes: young
players who follow their parents, transfers of players of at least
16 years of age within the European Union or the European Economic
Area, and transfers within transfrontier areas.Note
a number of problematic cases remain.
68. On the one hand, it is not certain that all the transfers
authorised under these three exceptions are actually justified.
It is true that Article 19 states that “[e]very international transfer
… and every first registration … is subject to the approval of the
subcommittee appointed by the Players’ Status Committee for that
purpose”, but as that sub-committee is not permanent it is unable
to verify all the details of every case, seeing as there are hundreds
or even thousands of cases a year.
69. On the other hand, the system is subject to significant limitations:
not all under-age players who arrive in Europe have been previously
licensed in their country of origin and the transfer procedure is
not subject to FIFA’s jurisdiction in this case. This applies for
example to football in Africa, where many young people are spotted
while playing in unofficial neighbourhood tournaments or at clubs
or training centres not affiliated to their federation.
70. Another problem that may arise is the use of false identity
documents to have a minor legally registered with an academy. Article
19bis of the FIFA Regulations
deals with the question of the “registration and reporting of minors
at academies”. Each academy is obliged to report to the association
on whose territory it operates all minors who attend it for the
purpose of training (paragraph 2.b),
and each association must keep a register containing the details
provided by clubs or academies, together with the names and dates
of birth of minors (paragraph 3). While the most renowned academies
with the best funding and infrastructure are vigilant and it may
be assumed that they take the job of verifying documents seriously,
the “second division” academies in the less prestigious European
football leagues might be both less careful and less well equipped
to undertake all the checks required.
3.3 Lack of adequate protection
for young migrant sportsmen and women: lines of action
71. The European Social Charter (revised) and the Convention
on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings can be invoked to
counter the most serious violations of the rights of young migrant
sportsmen and women, which constitute exploitation. But these texts
alone cannot respond fully to the problems posed by the migration
of young sportsmen and women. Within the national framework, these
problems are compounded not only by gaps in legislation but also
by defective administrative practices.
For example, a number of discrepancies have been identified,
- the misuse of tourist
or study visas (for example, to attend a club trial);
- identity manipulation, especially concerning a person’s
age or nationality;
- the facility with which visas are granted in certain countries
where agents have preferential contacts with embassy employees,
thereby opening the door to repeated fraudulent visa applications;
- naturalisations of convenience, which enable clubs to
recruit promising minors and train them at their own facilities
for a few years before they obtain the host country’s nationality
– a strategy used to exceed the quotas of players from outside the
The distressing situations in which young migrant sportsmen
and women find themselves because of fraudulent intermediaries have
been mentioned above. Admittedly, only a minority of unscrupulous
agents/intermediaries act in this way. In general, licensed agentsNote
who specialise in the
recruitment of players who are minors undergo training of a high
are strictly subject to and apply the FIFA regulations. Nevertheless,
in this connection, the harmonisation of national laws should be
encouraged at the European level.
74. The European Union has already initiated discussions on this,
but possible Community legislation would cover only its 27 member
States. The Council of Europe could act as a discussion forum at
pan-European level, more appropriate to the Europe of sport, in
order to avoid a situation in which countries outside the European Union,
where the issue of legislation on the profession of sports agent
is just as crucial, remain lawless zones in these matters.
75. For example, the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS)
could establish a platform for dialogue, bringing together UEFA
and other stakeholders, and launch a debate on such issues as: the
possibility for lawyers to act officially as sports agents; the
ambiguous role of agents (who should clearly represent and protect
the interests of either the club or the player, whereas today they
may be mandated by both a club and one of its players, resulting
in an obvious conflict of interests); or the role of the player’s
family in negotiations.
76. With regard to sports regulations, the principle prohibition
of international transfers of players who are minors established
by the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players points
in the right direction. However, FIFA is the only international
federation to have established a legal framework relating to young sportspeople.
In other sports there are no regulations at all. Moreover, even
within the FIFA framework, attempts are made to circumvent regulations
(for example, by invoking the three exceptions for authorising the transfer
of a player who is a minor); furthermore, these rules do not necessarily
apply to all sportsmen and women (for example, players or sportsmen
and women not affiliated to a federation).
77. The issue of the migration of young footballers is also linked
to the question of training allowances to be paid to the club that
trained the young player. In practice, the amount of these allowances
depends on the confederations and FIFA member associations. The
sums paid in this connection may accordingly vary considerably.
The majority of European clubs have every interest in recruiting
a player in Africa or South America, where the sum payable will
be lower. Once again, footballers who are minors are treated like commodities
on which it is possible to speculate.
78. National federations are doing very little to deal with these
different problems. A positive but isolated example is France, where
a set of good practices for clubs has been drawn up by the Union
of Professional Football Clubs, entitled “Ten recommendations for
looking after a foreign minor in a French club”.
These recommendations are:
the young person to an introductory training course on the basis
of predetermined criteria and find out about his or her sporting
- ensure the reliability of his or her intermediaries/people
accompanying him or her;
- send a letter of invitation to the French consulate in
the country of origin and, where possible, the club of origin;
- obtain an agreement and a parental discharge;
- ask for a photocopy of the passport and visa;
- check the return air tickets;
- take out public liability and physical injury insurance;
- organise a medical examination by the club doctor;
- pay the player’s accommodation costs and expenses during
his or her stay at the club;
- arrange to have the player picked up from and driven to
80. Compliance with these recommendations should enable the treatment
of young migrant sportspeople to be improved and abuses to be avoided.
However, these recommendations have no binding force.
4 Good governance and transparency
in sports governing bodies
81. Good governance and transparency are crucial to the
credibility and efficiency of every institution. This also applies
to sports institutions, including the major federations, international,
continental and national. The autonomy of the sports movement should
not prevent compliance with these two fundamental principles. The autonomy
of sports federations must be respected, but without making possible
opaque financial management. Power must be acquired and maintained
in accordance with not only the letter, but also the spirit of the
principle of democracy. Cheating during elections or in the process
of awarding major international sports events, financial abuses
and misappropriation for personal benefit of funds intended for
are serious problems to which a proper answer should be given.
82. The world of football and its global federation, FIFA, have
all too often hit the headlines, and continue to do so, because
of suspicions of fraud or corruption hanging over some of its senior
officials. With FIFA playing such a major role, as both the regulatory
body and the provider of large sums of money for the development
of football worldwide, it has a duty to set an example. Hence this
part of the report will deal in particular with certain scandals
involving this institution. The aim is not to condemn. But FIFA's
image is deteriorating and action is urgently needed to prevent
further abuses. Furthermore, other sports are experiencing similar
problems. So the question is what to do to improve governance and
financial transparency in the sport sector in general.
83. Before moving on to the substance of this issue, a reminder
should be given of the definition of good governance given in Committee
of Ministers Recommendation Rec(2005)8 on the principles of good governance
in sport: “a complex network of policy measures and private regulations
used to promote integrity in the management of the core values of
sport such as democratic, ethical, efficient and accountable sports activities
…”. The same recommendation also specifies that “these measures
apply equally to the public administration sector of sport and to
the non-governmental sports sector”.
4.1 Cases of corruption within
major sports federations
4.1.1 The award of the 2002 Winter
Olympic Games to Salt Lake City and of the 2012 Summer Olympics to
At the 108th Extraordinary Session of the International
Olympic Committee (IOC), in a secret ballot, IOC members voted for
six members to be excluded “for inappropriate conduct in relation
to Salt Lake City’s candidature”.Note
The members concerned
had either received financial assistance or had directly received money
for their vote on the award of the 2002 Winter Olympics to Salt
Lake City. “Each case was studied separately, and each member facing
expulsion was given the chance to be heard by the Session.”Note
The IOC's Ethics Commission has made several recommendations
concerning persons, IOC members or not, who have been involved in
corruption cases inside the sports movement. In 2011, it recommended
that Mr Issa Hayatou,Note
an IOC member, be reprimanded
for misappropriating a cash sum of 100 000 French francs from a
company called ISL/ISMM which had been intended to finance the 40th
anniversary of the African Football Confederation (CAF). In 2004,
following an investigation by journalists working for a BBC channel, concluding
that several IOC members were willing to take bribes or were completely
under the control of representatives of candidate cities, the IOC
Ethics Commission proposed to exclude one IOC member, Mr Ivan Slavkov,Note
to withdraw the accreditation of four such representatives.Note
4.1.2 The ISL/ISMM-FIFA case relating
to the award of television and commercial rights (Switzerland, 2001-11)
Investigative journalist Andrew Jennings has on several
occasions (including when addressing the December 2011 hearing held
by the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media) condemned
the case in which certain top officials of FIFA were bribed by the
sports marketing company International Sport and Leisure (ISL).Note
it went bankrupt in 2001, triggering a judicial investigation some
years later by the Public Prosecutor of the Canton of Zug in Switzerland
– culminating in dismissal of the charges in 2011 – the company
had concluded agreements with FIFA in order to obtain the television
rights to the 2010 football World Cup. These agreements made provision
for commissions to be paid at regular intervals to certain senior
4.2 Financial and power issues
within sports federations: the example of FIFA
The people in charge of international, continental
and national sports federations tend to be in power for a long time.
Mr Lamine Diack (Senegal) has been at the helm of the International
Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)Note
In 2011, he was re-elected president for a four-year term of office,
having been the only candidate. Mr Joseph Blatter (Switzerland)
has been President of FIFA for almost 14 years, and was the only
candidate when last re-elected. His predecessor, Mr João Havelange,
ran FIFA for 24 years. Whoever holds power at FIFA has a position
recognised worldwide, high visibility in the media, authority in
the world of sport and undoubted influence over decisions which
have an economic and, in certain cases, a political impact.
88. Presidents of other federations have held office for many
years: Bruno Grandi (Italy) has been President of the Fédération
Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) since 1996; the International
Ski Federation (FIS) has been headed by Mr Gian-Franco Kasper (Switzerland)
since 1998; the International Tennis Federation (ITF) has had Mr
Francesco Ricci Bitti (Italy) as its president since 1999; the International
Handball Federation (IHF) has been led by Mr Hassan Moustapha (Egypt)
since 2000; the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA, swimming’s
governing body) was led by Mr Mustapha Larfaoui (Algeria) from 1988
to 2009. And more could be added to the list.
89. The fact that the same figures stay in positions of power
within sports authorities for a long time is not necessarily, in
itself, either a problem or a symptom of abuse. This tendency is
probably a consequence, first and foremost, of the capacity of the
leaders of sports’ governing bodies, who often have charismatic personalities,
to create for themselves support networks based on the esteem in
which they are held by their peers. This phenomenon nevertheless
means that the question must be asked whether, in a few cases at
least, there is not purely formal compliance with democratic principles
when the senior officials of certain sports institutions are elected
or re-elected, and whether their support networks do not also sometimes
turn into real leveraging systems which certain governance mechanisms
make it possible to consolidate.
90. This last statement may be of general application. If we are
turning our attention to FIFA here, this is not because it has the
worst governance machinery, but more because it is better known
(and also – praise should go to FIFA where it is due – because the
quality of information on its official website is very high) and
because that institution is incomparably more important than any
other sports federation, with the exception of the IOC.
4.2.1 Questionable governance mechanisms
91. If we scrutinise FIFA's institutional structures,
we find that the Statutes state that the supreme body is the Congress,
bringing together the representatives of the 208 member associations
of FIFA; extensive powers are nevertheless held by the Executive
Committee and the president.
Among the Executive Committee's responsibilities are the following:
- it appoints the chairpersons,
deputy chairpersons and members of the standing committees and of
the judicial bodies;
- it may decide to set up new ad hoc committees;
- it compiles the regulations for the organisation of standing
committees and ad hoc committees;
- it approves regulations stipulating how FIFA is to be
- it decides the places and dates of the final competitions
of FIFA tournaments and the number of teams taking part from each
It may also be noted that the chairpersons and deputy chairpersons
of FIFA's standing committees must be members of the Executive Committee,
with the exception of the chairperson and deputy chairperson of
the Internal Audit Committee, who may not in any circumstances be
members thereof. Furthermore, the members of the Executive Committee
are distributed among the various committees and, at least at the
present time, monopolise two of them which are of strategic importance:
- the six members of the Finance
Committee (one for each continental confederation) are all members
of the Executive Committee. This committee monitors financial management
and advises the Executive Committee about financial matters and
asset management; it analyses FIFA's budget and annual financial
statements prepared by the Secretary General and submits these to
the Executive Committee for approval;
- among the 29 members of the Organising Committee for the
FIFA World Cup, 22 are members of the Executive Committee (namely
all the members of the current Executive Committee, except the president,
The President of FIFA chairs the Congress and the Executive
Committee and is in charge of the administrative apparatus. Although
the Secretary General of FIFA, who runs the office, is formally
appointed by the Executive Committee, he is answerable to the president,
who has the power to propose to the Executive Committee both the
appointment and the dismissal of the secretary general. The president
also has the power to appoint those who work directly with the secretary
general (deputy and directors), to adopt the salary structure for
managers and staff (including bonuses and social benefits) and to
approve the administrative units' objectives. In the “Governing
this situation is compared unequivocally
to a “monistic” system of corporate governance, and even to the
existence of a chairman/managing director. But the necessary corrective
machinery is lacking within FIFA, in the form of appropriate checks
Bearing in mind the foregoing, the question may arise of the
effectiveness of the internal democratic procedures of an organisation
whose management bodies seem to have no difficulty whatsoever in
controlling the institutional mechanisms and can thus more easily
maintain and consolidate the power acquired. The likelihood of those
in authority being held in awe should not be overlooked, nor the
possibility of influence being exerted over Congress members' voting
through the adoption of decisions concerning the assignment of duties and
responsibilities, or even the allocation of funds to different projects.
The life ban imposed on Mr Mohammed Bin Hammam, after he had paid
for votes in the election to the Presidency of FIFA, unfortunately provides
evidence that the existing system gives rise to such risks.NoteNoteNoteNote
4.2.2 Limited financial transparency
and potentially dubious expenditure
96. FIFA complies with the accounting and auditing rules
to which it is subject under Swiss law. Since 2003, it has presented
consolidated annual accounts in accordance with International Financial
Reporting Standards (IFRS); these standards require certain principles
to be applied which guarantee greater financial transparency and
the presentation of more reliable accounts.
97. The consolidated financial information compiled is submitted
to external auditors. The accountancy firm KPMG was asked to carry
out the audit for the years 2007-10. However, as the auditor's report
explains, KPMG verifies only the methodology applied for the compilation,
while responsibility for the consolidated financial information
lies with FIFA's Executive Committee.
98. The consolidated accounts are also the subject of a report
by the Internal Audit Committee to the FIFA Congress. One may nevertheless
wonder to what extent this internal audit goes beyond the mere correctness of
the accounts. Costs which are correct in accounting terms may be
unethical or against the interests of football: the money earned
by FIFA should serve those interests alone, and no others.
FIFA has extremely high revenue (US$4 189 million for the
period 2007-10), enabling the institution to incur considerable
expenditure while still making large profits. According to the financial
report for 2010,Note
over the period 2007-10 FIFA spent
US$3 558 million.
100. In various places, the consolidated financial report refers
to “miscellaneous” or “other” expenses, with some examples but insufficient
details. For 2010, for example, other expenditure under the heading
of event-related expenses was more than US$203 million: inter alia, marketing expenses are
mixed up with the travel and accommodation expenses of delegates
participating in the various events. Among the operating expenses, expenditure
of US$42 772 000 from the total of US$103 858 000 (namely more than
41%) is not detailed. Value-in-kind transactions are mentioned in
the financial report as part of the US$493 million of non-cash items (which
also included gross effects and depreciation), without any more
details. How are the value, composition and use made of these “value-in-kind
transactions” to be verified? FIFA has such high income and expenditure that
allowing them to be accounted for without further details may open
the door to abuse.
In 2010, the total wage bill at FIFA was US$65 280 000,Note
between 387 staff on average over the year, meaning that average
pay per staff member was US$168 682.17. The average monthly income
at FIFA in 2010 was thus US$14 056.85. FIFA's spending on salaries
rose by 31.6% between 2009 and 2010 (from a total of US$49 599 000
in 2009 to US$65 280 000 in 2010), while the average number of staff
members increased by only 7.2% over the same period. The financial
report does not explain these increases and gives no information
about the salaries of key management personnel.
The members of the Executive Committee and Finance Committee
(who are all also members of the Executive Committee) and FIFA management
are considered to be the key management personnel. In 2010, “short-term
employee benefits” of US$32.6 million were paid to the key management
2009: US$20.9 million). On the basis of the report, it is impossible
to know what these “benefits” correspond to. It should be noted
that official journey expenses (travel and accommodation) are already
accounted for elsewhere in the financial report. Financial transparency
would require more details about these “short-term employee benefits”
which are paid afresh each year, solely to the key management personnel.
If these benefits are added to salaries (and not counting over US$14
million of social and other benefit costs), the total comes to almost
US$102 million (more than €75 700 000 at the average exchange rate
for the year). By way of comparison, the audited accounts of the
Council of Europe for 2010 show that expenditure on the staff of
the European Court of Human Rights (629 Secretariat members and
47 judges) totalled €55 476 023.17.
4.3 Elements of good governance
in European and international sports federations
4.3.1 Measures taken by FIFA
103. FIFA has decided to consider a number of reforms,
some of which relate directly to its governance. In the financial
sphere, FIFA has since 2003 (as already stated above) been applying
IFRS standards, and an independent auditor checks its accounts.
In 2009, FIFA adopted a new Code of EthicsNote
, which includes a set of provisions
regulating conduct, including, inter
, fairly strict provisions on conflicts of interest,
conduct towards governments and private organisations, accepting
and giving gifts and other benefits, accepting and offering commissions,
and corruption. Part 1 of Article 4 states that “[o]nly those persons
who demonstrate a high degree of ethics and integrity and pledge
to observe the provisions of this Code without reservation are eligible
to serve as officials. …”, while sub-paragraph 3 states that “[o]fficials
who do not comply with this Code or severely fail to fulfil, or inadequately
exercise, their duties and responsibilities, particularly in financial
matters, are no longer eligible and shall be removed from office”.
It is regrettable that this Code is not applicable to acts committed
prior to its adoption, except where its application would not penalise
the person concerned.
105. In October 2011, FIFA drew up a good governance road map,
the first stage of which was the setting up of four task forces:
“Revision of Statutes”, “FIFA Ethics Committee”, “Transparency and
Compliance” and “Football 2014”. The Executive Committee, at its
December 2011 meeting, set up a new Independent Governance Committee
(IGC). This committee's first report and proposals are expected
in March 2012, with a view to submission of the requested amendments
to the Statutes to the FIFA Congress of June 2012. It has also been
decided that host countries for future World Cups will no longer
be chosen by the Executive Committee, but by the Congress (with
each national association which is a FIFA member having the right
to vote, namely 208 votes). The Ethics Committee has also been reinforced
and will henceforth comprise an investigation and research organ
and a judicial body.
4.3.2 Measures taken by the IOC
Following the Salt Lake City scandal, the IOC approved
the setting up of an Ethics Commission in 1999, and in the early
2000s amended the procedure for awarding Olympic Games to host cities,
to keep down the risk of bribery of the members entitled to vote.
Those members had been particularly well received, and, prior to
the introduction of the new procedure, had easily been able to obtain
benefits in kind (or even backhanders) directly. Subsequently, the
IOC approved, in 2008, at the Copenhagen Congress,Note
the "Basic Universal Principles of
Good Governance of the Olympic and Sports Movement", which should
be considered the minimum standards with which sports federations
This document attaches equal importance to the political and
financial principles of good governance, and it covers:
- the importance of the employment
of professional staff by federations;
- the minimum structures which must exist to make a democratic
decision-making process possible;
- financial transparency and independent verification of
- the involvement of sportspeople in the taking of decisions
- compliance with certain ethical standards on the basis
of a code of ethics;
- respect for a vision, mission and strategy based on a
set of values;
- harmonious relations with governments and political institutions,
while preserving federations' autonomy.
108. These principles are fundamental, and every sports federation
should be required to comply with them, in proportion to its means
and its level of development. Finally, the IOC has conducted an
education campaign by organising gatherings on the subject of good
governance and financial transparency which national Olympic committees
are required to attend.
109. In line with the fundamental principle of self-governance,
responsibility for dealing with problems relating to sports policy
primarily lies with the sporting community. Self-regulation is of
paramount importance, but if problems persist then governments should
step in. The autonomy of the sports movement cannot extend to serious
infringements of sports ethics, or to inaction where management
systems are no longer able to cope with legitimate concerns about
transparency and good governance. Autonomy is there to protect the
interests of sport, not those of unscrupulous individuals.
110. The autonomy of the sports movement requires States to refrain
from undue interference in the organisation and functioning of sports
authorities. It cannot, however, come to be used as an excuse for inaction.
Sport is an area in which the public interest applies, and States
have an important role to play in preserving the common interest.
This role implies the creation of an appropriate legal framework,
the penalising of abuses that are against the law and effective
co-operation with governing bodies of the sports movement to combat
any abuses contrary to the ethics of sport and to the fundamental
values of which sport should be a vehicle.
111. The following paragraphs put forward some ideas about the
strengthening of financial fair play, the protection of young migrant
sportspeople and the promotion of transparency and good governance
within the sports movement. These ideas are taken up again in the
guidelines appended to the draft resolution.
5.1 Financial fair play
112. So that professional sports companies' expenditure
on players’ salaries does not spiral out of control in other team
sports in the same way as in football, it would seem necessary to
reinforce “financial fair play” by adopting rules requiring financial
transparency, limiting the debts that may be run up and fostering
the self-financing of clubs.
113. Such budget constraints, together with the monitoring mechanisms
necessary to ensure effective compliance with them, should be laid
down by the federations and associations concerned in the context
of self-regulation. The Financial Fair Play Regulations adopted
by UEFA could serve as a model for other European federations. Similarly,
the French DNCG is a model that could be followed in other States
and for other sports disciplines.
114. European States should seek better harmonisation of national
provisions on sports company accounting, with the aim of enhancing
financial transparency. They should also ensure that the ban on
public aid to professional sports companies is strictly observed.
5.2 Protection of young migrant
115. Football is the sport in which problems concerning
young migrant sportsmen and women are most evident and it can become
a testing ground for a sports policy in migration matters. However,
it has to be stressed that other team sports – like rugby, basketball
or handball – are also affected by the phenomenon of sports-related
migration. Moreover, it has been established that conditions in
individual sports like athletics, gymnastics or tennis are conducive
to the migration of minors.
116. In order to combat the most serious problems of commoditisation
and exploitation of young sportspeople, it is necessary to apply
stringently the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child,
the European Social Charter (revised) and the Council of Europe
Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. However,
these texts cannot solve all the problems.
117. The member States of the Council of Europe should support
the work of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport (EPAS), which
is currently drawing up a draft recommendation from the Committee
of Ministers to member States on the problems associated with migration
flows in sport. It would be desirable for this document to respond
to the issues mentioned in this report.
118. Moreover, member States should pass a law on sport that includes
provisions on protecting young sportspeople, both nationals and
migrants. They should also seek to harmonise, in co-operation with
the European Union, legislation on the status of sports agents and
of intermediaries who, without having that title, act as such.
119. Lastly, in order to increase its monitoring capabilities,
UEFA could introduce a compulsory levy that would be used to fund
a system for monitoring the transfer and accommodation conditions
of sportsmen and women who are minors, with the aim of detecting
abuses and sanctioning them.
5.3 Governance, transparency and
the prevention of corruption and self-interest within governing
bodies of the sports movement
120. Good governance is regularly mentioned in discussions
relating to the world of politics and economics; there is nothing
surprising about it also being mentioned in the sphere of sport.
Sport holds an important place in our societies, and citizens and
policy makers naturally expect sports federations, associations
and officials to comply with very high ethical standards and with
the commonly asserted principles of good governance.
Many cases of bribery of sports officials have shaken European
and world sport in the past decade, not only in major sports such
as football, but also in more minor sports. In order to prevent
such acts, it seems necessary to:
the democratic processes relating to the conditions for acquiring
and keeping power in the sphere of sport;
- increase financial transparency within sports federations;
- identify the systemic defects which foster conflicts of
interest, misappropriation of funds and the bribery of sports officials,
so that these are remedied.
122. Sports federations cannot of course be asked to operate like
private firms. However, it would be naive to ignore the fact that
the financial stakes are rising. The award of a football World Cup
currently represents the sum of over US$4 billion. The sums involved
are lower for other competitions and in other sports, but they remain
significant. This money should benefit sport and its development:
it is unacceptable for it to be misappropriated for personal benefit.
123. It is therefore not only rules ensuring that accounts formally
comply with standards which are needed, but also checks on the use
made of funds, a battery of rules enabling internal investigations
to be conducted, and bodies (good governance committees, ethics
committees or other bodies) endowed with genuine powers to punish.
124. In conclusion, one question to which I did not seek to give
an answer in this report, but which in my view is arising with increasing
force, is that of the sports movement's contribution to the development
of society as a whole, which could entail greater solidarity. Should
the money earned from sport be invested solely back into sport,
or would it not be praiseworthy for sport to play a greater part
in the efforts to promote a cohesive society and sustainable development?
I would like to quote, this time as a positive example, FIFA and
some of the programmes which it is setting up with this in mind.
An example to be promoted, perhaps.