FIFA – Flawed Incompetent Fútbol Association

Posted: July 9, 2014 in Economics & Politics
Tags: , , , , , ,

FIFA, (The International Federation of Association Football) is an NGO and the international governing body for most of the soccer played on the planet. FIFA is responsible for organizing the setting, regulations and structure of most football matches on the globe, the most famous being the World Cup. FIFA is also one of the most corrupt and oldest NGO’s.

FIFA member association meeting.

FIFA member association meeting.

 

FIFA was created in 1904 when it served only seven member associations (France, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland). Prior to the inception of FIFA, the UK’s “Football Association” was the primary authority governing football affairs. FIFA is literally structured like a government: Congress (legislative body), Executive Committee (executive body) and General Secretariat (administrative body). As most governments, FIFA is very susceptible to corruption. The FIFA congress is composed of representatives from each of the member associations (209 countries). The FIFA President, currently Sepp Blatter, is appointed for four-year terms by the FIFA congress. The executive committee (composed of 24 members), is also elected by the FIFA congress.

Thou Shalt Not Tax…

FIFA is organized as a not-for-profit organization (NGO) under Swiss law and is headquartered in Zürich, Switzerland. As a result, FIFA pays absolutely no tax on revenue that it earns from events such as the world cup. In Brazil (World Cup 2014), for example, the countries lost revenue from exempting FIFA from tax laws will translate into about $250 million dollars. Brazil stands to gain about $575 million from taxing prize money distributed to all participating member teams, in additional to all the touristic revenue that it will gain from this World Cup. Still, I’m sure that Brazilian citizens would rather have $250 million dollars coming into the country as tax revenue from FIFA than from their own pockets.

Brazil welcoming FIFA for the 2014 World Cup.

Brazil welcoming FIFA for the 2014 World Cup.

FIFA is ugly and people need to know it. FIFA today is a multinational that is eating up the ball. Countries can’t do anything against them.” Former Argentina player, Diego Maradona, The Sunday Times

 

World Cup host country auction

The host cities for the World Cup are determined by a bidding process, this process is highly secretive and  fair (according to FIFA). In 2009, FIFA received 11 bids from countries aspiring to host one of the biggest events known to man. For 2018, the bidding countries included: England, Russia, Portugal and Spain. For 2022, the bidding countries included: Japan, Australia, Qatar, South-Korea and the United States. The bidding process is incredibly profitable for FIFA, as they are able to collect millions of dollars on bid money and ultimately choose only one host nation. Australia, for example, paid close to $50 million dollars just to submit a bid. The 24 executive committee members vote on which nation will host the World Cup (only 22 members eligible to vote in 2010 because 2 members were suspended for accepting bribes). A FIFA executive committee member and Qatari national, Bin Hammam, was banned by FIFA for bribery. Apparently Mr. Hammam had lavished millions of dollars worth of gifts, cash and trips towards FIFA’s executive committee in hopes of securing Qatar’s 2022 World Cup bid. Most people who are familiar with FIFA antics are not surprised by the fact that Qatar will be the setting for the 2022 World Cup.

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These [corruption] allegations are baseless and riddled with innuendo designed to tarnish the reputation of Qatar’s 2022 Bid Committee.” Qatar 2022 Bid Committee statement, eurosport.com

 

Match Fixing

Ibrahim Chaibou, a Nigerien referee during the 2010 World Cup is currently retired and wealthy. He deposited $100K cash into his bank account in South African hours before refereeing a match between Guatemala and South Africa. The false penalties (multiple) called were blatant even to the untrained eye. Football 4U, is the name of a match fixing syndicate that sources and appoints referees for soccer matches all around the globe. They make money by providing legitimate referees, bribing them and controlling the outcome of games for gambling purposes. The leaders of Football 4U stand to gain millions of dollars by manipulating the outcome of games.The South African federation, troubled by financial difficulties and administrative dysfunction, was a ripe target. Once Football 4U had insinuated itself, the syndicate was able to switch referees at the last moment, and it had access to dressing areas and the sidelines. Match fixing has been plaguing FIFA for decades, yet they’ve never taken a serious stance against it. I’m sure that there have been a few of FIFA’s own to indulge in some fixed gambling.

 

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Ibrahim Chaibou

 

Build me a Football kingdom worthy of FIFA

The host nation for the World Cup is driven by FIFA to build new stadiums and infrastructure that is “FIFA-Quality”. The demands to develop these soccer worlds at break-neck speeds usually means construction deaths and wasted money. Additionally, natives also end up losing their homes (about 250K displaced in Brazil 2014). I’m assuming that when the smoke clears from the World Cup in Brazil, the empty stadiums will be used as homeless shelters. Protestors are powerless against FIFA, as they are powerless against their own governments who seek to exploit them instead of protect them. Organizations like the World Bank that have noble mission statements will also see the World Cup as a way of preying on developing nations. The World Bank will provide loans (funding mainly by US banks) in order to fund for major infrastructure projects (roads, electricity) that they know the borrowing nations will never be able to pay back.

nino-futbol-espiritu santo

 

Doing some good!

FIFA’s Football for Hope program provides funding for NGOs and community-based organizations that use football as an instrument for social development. FIFA aimed to build 20 centers across Africa, run by local best-practice partner organizations, to promote football and educational programs on topics including HIV/AIDS awareness, literacy, and gender equality. However, FIFA donates only 0.7% of its revenue towards charitable programs. Macy’s donated about 8% of its profits in 2010. In 2012, Target contributed 4.7 percent of its profit and combined that sum with a promise to donate $1 billion to public education. FIFA should be held to a higher standard considering the amount of wealth, power and international influence that it exudes. That’s cute though, 0.7%…. that’s enough money for “Football for Hope” to by three things: a soccer ball, a hammock and one condom that can be shared by an entire village. The FIFA organization is similar to any organization that has power; it wants more. It’s incredible how FIFA exerts gargantuan influence over most of the world by simply showcasing a group of men running around in circles kicking a ball.

Finally, the world is seeing FIFA for what it is: a stateless conglomerate that takes bribes while acting as a battering ram for world leaders who want to use the majesty of the World Cup to push through their development agendas at great human cost.” Dave Zirin, New York Times

 

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  1. […] FIFA – Flawed Incompetent Fútbol Association […]

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