FIFA must do more to win back trust of football fans

FIFA must do more to win back trust of football fans

It’s been one year since Gianni Infantino was elected president of FIFA, world football’s governing body. The new president promised to win back the trust of football fans and reform FIFA, which had become a worldwide symbol of corruption following years of scandals and the dawn raid arrests of its senior officials in Zurich in 2015.

Transparency International and Forza Football, a football fan opinion platform with more than 3 million subscribers, just completed a snap survey of 25,000 fans from over 50 countries to find out what they think.

The message to Infantino is that more needs to be done: 53 per cent of fans still have no confidence in FIFA and only a quarter of fans globally think that Infantino has restored trust in FIFA.

This is better than in the days when former President Sepp Blatter was in charge; our poll in 2016 showed that 69 per cent of fans had no confidence in FIFA.

This year fans in Chile, Germany and the Netherlands are the most disenchanted, closely followed by fans in Ireland, Spain and the UK.

FIFA poll graphic 1 (map)

Here are more highlights from the poll:

FIFA’s reform agenda

On 26 February FIFA President Gianni Infantino wrote an open letter about his progress. He admitted there was more to do and referred to a 50-page FIFA 2.0 reform road map.

The road map emphasises introducing stronger compliance mechanism at FIFA’s 211 member associations in order for them to use the US$1.25 million a year they receive from FIFA.

The next step is monitoring and evaluation. Transparency International has advocated independent oversight for FIFA. To win back trust, FIFA will need outsiders to verify proper conduct and give it the stamp of approval.

FIFA Infantino trust graphic

Country highlights: 38 per cent of Italians, 32 per cent of Colombians, and 31 per cent of Thais voted YES. 71 per cent of Dutch, 66 per cent of Germans, and 60 per cent of Austrians voted NO. 58 per cent of British and 45 per cent of US fans said that they do not think Infantino has restored faith.

FIFA fighting corruption graphic

Country highlights: 70 per cent of Germans, 65 per cent of Austrians, and 63 per cent of French do not feel that FIFA is actively working against corruption. 55 per cent of British and 45 per cent of US also voted NO. But 50 per cent of Thais, 47 per cent of South Africans, and 44 per cent of Costa Ricans believe that the organisation is doing enough.

Last year’s Transparency International and Forza Football survey found that 69 per cent of fans across the world didn’t have confidence in FIFA. This shows that, following the departure of Sepp Blatter, fewer fans distrust the organisation. But the fact that over half the fans still lack confidence in FIFA signifies there is much work to be done.

FIFA confidence graphic

Country highlights: 25 per cent more Italians, 22 per cent more Costa Ricans, 15 per cent more US, and 8 per cent more British voters have gained confidence in FIFA now as compared to last year.

71 per cent of Chileans, 70 per cent of Germans, and 70 per cent of Dutch voters expressed they do not have confidence in FIFA this year.

57 per cent of Thais, 46 per cent of Italians, and 44 per cent of Japanese voters expressed that they do have confidence in FIFA.

FIFA areas of corruption graphic

Voters were allowed to choose more than one. Below are the percentage of fans that responded to each individual area.

97 per cent of fans are worried about corruption in football. Nearly three quarters of Italians are most worried about match fixing. British fans are most concerned about match fixing, too along with bribery of officials (60 per cent). 67 per cent of US fans are most worried about the bribery of officials.

FIFA Russia 2018 graphic

Country highlights: 71 per cent of Irish, 69 per cent of Dutch, and 68 per cent of both Swedish and British voters are opposed to Russia hosting the 2018 World Cup. In the US, 47 per cent of voters disagree with the decision.

Not surprisingly, 89 per cent of Russians approve of the decision with 57 per cent of Colombians, and 56 per cent of South Africans also approving.

The poll ran from 17 February to 28 February on the Forza Football app.

 

Contact

Deborah Unger
T: +44 74321 66622
E: press@transparency.org

 

Editor's note: We added a short video to this article a few hours after publication on 2 March 2017; all other content remained unchanged.

For any press enquiries please contact press@transparency.org

Latest

Support Transparency International

Risk of impunity increases with outcome of Portuguese-Angolan corruption trial

A verdict last week by the Lisbon Court of Appeals in the trial of former Angolan vice president Manuel Vicente has disappointed hopes for a triumph of legal due process over politics and impunity. It also has worrying implications for the independence of Portugal’s judiciary.

The UK just made it harder for the corrupt to hide their wealth offshore

If counted together, the United Kingdom and its Overseas Territories and Crown dependencies would rank worst in the world for financial secrecy. Fortunately, this could soon change.

The new IMF anti-corruption framework: 3 things we’ll be looking for a year from now

Last Sunday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) unveiled its long-awaited framework for “enhanced” engagement with countries on corruption and governance issues. Here are three aspects we at Transparency International will be looking at closely in coming months as the new policy is rolled out.

While the G20 drags its feet, the corrupt continue to benefit from anonymous company ownership

The corrupt don’t like paper trails, they like secrecy. What better way to hide corrupt activity than with a secret company or trust as a front? You can anonymously open bank accounts, make transfers and launder dirty money. If the company is not registered in your name, it can't always be traced back to you.

Urging leaders to act against corruption in the Americas

The hot topic at the 2018 Summit of the Americas is how governments can combat corruption at the highest levels across North and South America.

The impact of land corruption on women: insights from Africa

As part of International Women’s Day, Transparency International is launching the Women, Land and Corruption resource book. This is a collection of unique articles and research findings that describe and analyse the prevalence of land corruption in Africa – and its disproportionate effect on women – presented together with innovative responses from organisations across the continent.

Passport dealers of Europe: navigating the Golden Visa market

Coast or mountains? Real estate or business investment? Want your money back in five years? If you're rich, there are an array of options for European ‘Golden Visas’ at your fingertips, each granting EU residence or citizenship rights.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media