New report from Transparency International shows lack of information and transparency in football and highlights corruption risks
Most of the 209 national Football Associations that make up FIFA, world football’s governing body, publish little or no information on what they do and how they spend their money despite the fact that they received more than $1 million each from FIFA in 2014, according to a new report from Transparency International.
With the corruption crisis still engulfing FIFA, Transparency International conducted research into the governance structures at FIFA’s member associations to see how much information is publicly available about how they operate.
Transparency International looked at Football Association (FA) websites to find information on financial accounts, governing statutes, codes of conduct and annual activity reports.
The report, Transparency International Football Governance League Table, showed the following:
- 81 per cent of FAs have no financial records publicly available
- 21 per cent of FAs have no websites
- 85 per cent of FAs publish no activity accounts of what they do
Only 14 out of FIFA’s 209 football associations – Canada, Denmark, England, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Portugal, the Republic of Ireland and Sweden – publish the minimum amount of information necessary to let people know what they do, how they spend their money and what values they believe in.
“The risk of corruption at too many football associations around the world is high. This problem is made worse by the lack of information such as audited financial statements by many associations,” said Cobus de Swardt. “FIFA needs to enforce better governance on its members as well as on itself. The good that football can do is tarnished when corruption is allowed to flourish.
“Any incoming president of FIFA must make it a priority to create more accountable governance throughout the organisations from the bottom, as well as from the top,” said de Swardt.
The six regional confederations, which are not members of FIFA, but organise regional football activities like Euro 2016 and the Copa America can also improve. Only two publish financial accounts – UEFA and the African Confederation.
Transparency International is making a series of recommendations to improve how football is governed. These include:
- FIFA should mandate all its members make publicly available the following information as a pre-requisite for membership and financial assistance: audited financial accounts, an annual activities report, code of conduct and organisational statutes.
- The FIFA website should make easily accessible all charters and annual activity and financial reports of associations on its main website.
- The six regional football Confederations should commit to publishing all relevant operational information on their websites, including financial accounts and codes of conduct.
For a full list of all the results please click here.
The goal of the research is to highlight the need for better football governance. FIFA has the power to insist its member associations are more accountable. In 2014, for the first time it required its members to submit audited financial reports as a prerequisite for future funding. These audited reports should be made public.
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