CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Bean on FIFA Corruption

Bruce W. Bean (Michigan State University - College of Law) has posted FIFA is Corruption: What is to be Done? (Michigan State University College of Law International Law Review, Vol. 27, No. 2, 2019) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
The Fédération International de Football Association (“FIFA”) has been administering international football (“soccer” in Australia, Canada and the U.S.A.) for more than a century. Gambling, match-fixing, bribery, money laundering, tax evasion, and corruption generally have been rampant in football for many decades. Despite universal knowledge of this corruption, the enduring intensity of interest of the three billion football fans can fairly be compared to the fervor of religious zealots. This article provides an overview of football corruption, emphasizing FIFA’s central role in maintaining its well-deserved reputation as a thoroughly corrupt, incorrigible organization that cares nothing for its deplorable reputation. The Article proceeds as follows.

Part I provides the background of FIFA and describes of its history of corruption and details the notorious 2010 selection by the FIFA Executive Committee of Russia and Qatar to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cup competitions. Part II demonstrates FIFA’s most recent example of its complete lack of interest in addressing football corruption in any meaningful way by describing its so-called “reform” efforts triggered by the flawed December 2010 selection of Russia and Qatar as World Cup hosts. Part III describes the U.S. Department of Justice 2015 indictments of more than 40 football-related individuals and entities and notes prosecutions in other jurisdictions triggered by this action. Part IV considers possible solutions to the endemic, systemic corruption of the world’s most popular sport. Part V concludes with a despairing view of football and a plausible, uncomfortable, and perhaps impermissible, suggestion.

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