Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Give Jack his jacket

Fifa in crisis amid corruption arrests and World Cup voting inquiry – as it happened

Volume 16, Issue 3, August 2013, Pages 255–267


The Fédération Internationale de Football Association, or FIFA, is a non-governmental organization located in Switzerland that is responsible for overseeing the quadrennial World Cup football (soccer) competition in addition to its jurisdiction over other various international competitions and aspects of international football. The organization, long accused of corruption, has in recent years been increasingly criticized by observers and stakeholders for its lack of transparency and accountability. In 2011 FIFA initiated a governance reform process which will come to a close in May 2013. This paper draws on literature in the field of international relations to ask and answer the question: how can FIFA be held accountable? The paper's review finds that the answer to this question is “not easily.” The experience in reforming the International Olympic Committee (IOC) more than a decade ago provides one model for how reform might occur in FIFA. However, any effective reform will require the successful and simultaneous application of multiple mechanisms of accountability. The FIFA case study has broader implications for understanding mechanisms of accountability more generally, especially as related to international non-governmental organizations.


► IFA has come under increasing pressure for governance reform. ► The paper evaluates possible mechanisms of accountability. ► This paper finds that there are limited means to hold FIFA accountable. ► Reform will likely come from a combination of indirect legal, market and public reputational means.


  • Accountability;
  • Governance;
  • Non-governmental organizations;
  • International sports associations

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