The supreme leader sails on: leadership, ethics and governance in FIFA


The leaders of the governing body of world football, FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), formed in 1904, have often claimed that its contribution has been not just to the global growth of a sport, but also to potential and actual changes in intercultural understanding and international relations; the organization has claimed to contribute to hope and integration through football development. But in recent years, its governance processes have become increasingly exposed as inadequate, and its practices characterized by unaccountability. This article traces shifts in FIFA´s leadership style, structures and values over its 100-year plus history and explores ethical controversies in the practices of FIFA committee personnel during the tenure of it presidents from 1974 to 2013, as they affected its capacity to meet its stated goals. The article draws upon exclusive interviews and oral evidence illuminating the practices and actions of FIFA personnel and concludes with reflections on the organization´s limited capacity to contribute to international sport diplomacy.


Autor / Fonte:Alan Tomlinson. Sport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics Volume 17, Issue 9, 2014 Special Issue: Sport and diplomacy