Our work on sport

Filed under - Sport

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What's at stake?

The worrying number of scandals across many sports damages not only the image of sport, its federations and representatives, but compromises the positive influence sport has in spreading the values of good sportsmanship and integrity, especially for young people. So working to eliminate corruption in sport goes to the very heart of our mission. See more about our Corruption in Sport Initiative, too.

What we’re doing about it

Corruption in Sport Initiative
The ‘Corruption in Sport Initiative’ is a new partnership with experts, supporters and sponsors to present new research, analysis, dialogue and key recommendations on improving the governance of sport organisations, strengthening the integrity of major sporting events, and preventing and combatting match-fixing.

Sports and corruption is a new area of focus. We published our first working paper in 2009, called Corruption and Sport: Building Integrity and Preventing Abuses. Since then we have developed a growing reputation in the area, participating in global conferences on topics ranging from how to prevent corruption when organising large sporting events such as the Olympics to ways to prevent match fixing.

Following well-publicised corruption scandals at FIFA, world football’s governing body, we wrote a report that we submitted to FIFA outlining specific, concrete actions the organisation should take to repair its reputation. Safe Hands: Building Integrity and Transparency at FIFA built on our experience working on preventing corruption in the private sector – football is a global business worth more than $1.2 billion – and combined it with our expertise in the world of sport.

We made a similar submission to the International Cricket Council’s governance review in early 2012 – signed by 12 chapters from cricketing countries and coordinated by Transparency International UK.

On 9 April 2015, we began publishing new analysis and commentary by leading experts in the field as part of the Corruption in Sport Initiative, the new umbrella for TI's work on sport. We will continue to release new material linked to key sports events. Readers can sign up for updates here.

On 23 February 2016 we will publish the Global Corruption Report: Sport, a comprehensive overview of the root causes of corruption across sport, presenting key participants’ perspectives side by side, as well as the work of TI national chapters on the ground.

Who’s involved

We have many chapters tackling different areas of corruption and sport.

Some chapters are piloting programmes that address education and anti-corruption, others are organising conferences about sport and corruption. Chapters involved include:

Our approach

In sports we use the same approach that is our hallmark: we try to bring together all the interested parties to discuss the importance of developing strong anti-corruption and anti-bribery codes and practices. Our approach is one of consultation and collaboration.

Although we are not working directly with FIFA, we have talked to them and our recommendations have been taken into consideration in their reform process.

The work of our chapters in sport is just beginning. But the principle is the same. Transparency is the first defence against corruption and education is the best form of prevention. By operating transparently, organisations communicate their values and policies to the people they represent and to the public, and show their values translated into actions. By educating all those involved – from players and officials to managers and administrators – on ethical practices, you can help stop corruption before it starts.

Timeline and results


For more information on what we are doing to prevent corruption in sport, please contact:

Deborah Unger, Manager, Rapid Response Unit

Gareth Sweeney, Head of the Corruption in Sport Initiative

Country / Territory - International   
Region - Global   
Language(s) - English   
Topic - Sport   
Tags - Sport   |   FIFA   |   Sylvia Schenk   |   Football   |   Olympics   |   Cricket   |   International Cricket Council   |   Deryck Murray   

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