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Cheating: A Game as Old as Games
January 5th, 2012
Cheating in sports has existed for as long as the sports themselves. During the ancient Olympic Games in Olympia, Greece, officials placed pedestals inscribed with athletes' names at the entrance of the stadium. The names were not of great athletes, but of those who violated the rules of the Games, in order to punish them into perpetuity. In today’s version of public dishonor, our media nationally broadcasts the names and crimes of steroid-injecting baseball players, blood-doping cyclists, and plotting figure-skaters. Other athletes, who are perhaps not directly cheating in their sports, are engaging in morally reprehensible behavior. Nearly daily,...
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The FIFA Scandals and Lessons for Accountability
June 22nd, 2011
Here’s an interesting thought experiment. What would happen if you took an organization, gave it huge resources and publicity, required no transparency, and then asked it to self-regulate? A lot of corporations and governments would like to argue you’d get efficiency. As it would turn out… you’d get FIFA. In May of this year, the International Federation of Association Football (In French: Fédération Internationale de Football Association or FIFA), suspended two of its officials: Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar and Jack Warner of Trinidad and Tobago. These men were accused of attempting to bribe the 25 heads of the Caribbean...
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FIFA and the Corrosion of Financial Integrity
November 30th, 2010
The biggest sport in the world is football. Soccer, that is. Unfortunately, it also offers a paradigmatic example of the poisonous effects of a lack of financial integrity. There are a great many people with a stake in the outcomes of football – for example, the World Cup held in South Africa earlier this year has verified viewing figures of 715 million women, men and children (around one in ten of the world’s population), having been broadcast in 214 countries. The sport’s world governing body FIFA estimate there were 26 billion World Cup match viewings – enough for each...
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