FIFA’s Failures Of Corporate Governance & Suggested Remedies
FIFA is the governing body of the most popular professional sport in the world. That is why the entire world is paying attention as the Attorney General Loretta Lynch of the United States takes on a group that until now was always been beyond the reach of law enforcement.
This week on The Guardian Podcast with Ryn Melberg, (https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/fifa-governance-failures/id977764101?i=344818397&mt=2) FIFA and their failures of governance receive scrutiny and some advise for FIFA officials and other people who find themselves in organizations where the rules of law and governance are ignored. While examples of bad behavior are not often as egregious as those involving FIFA, it is not out of the question for employees of any organization of any size to be confronted with the bad behavior and lack of governance oversight in any workplace.
Absolute Power Corrupts
Fans of soccer have had serious issues with allegations of corruption for some time.
The level of corruption at FIFA goes up to the highest level of the organization. No one worker has the ability to take that on and make a change, so Ryn says it’s time to make a personal choice. “Are you willing to go along with bad behavior or are you willing to find another job where your own values are not challenged,” she asked. “Most folks know the answer and should vote with their feet.”
Model After The Olympics
Other athletic congresses like the Olympics have separate governance boards, but not so at FIFA. Ryn cites the Olympics “rotating” membership of their governance board and separation from the rest of the organization as the reason they and others with regularly changing directors are able to avoid corruption. While not the biggest overall collapse of governance ever, it is the worst in the history of sports and entertainment. “FIFA needs a real and completely separate governance body like the Olympics,” she advises. “Separate governance from the sales and marketing department. Keep other firewalls up to separate the players from the money, and rotate the membership the way they do on the International Olympic Organization.”
Only Attorney General Lynch
Influential countries in a position to insist that FIFA reform were Germany, Italy, Spain and Brazil to name a few. But none were in a position to risk a confrontation with FIFA for fear of repercussions against their respective teams. “Only the Attorney General of The United States had the influence to successfully go after FIFA,” Ryn said.
FIFA Corruption Background
Members of the governing board of the most popular sport in the world are under incredible scrutiny, 14 of which are already facing criminal indictments and one who was fired for making joke on a Swiss radio program.
Federal prosecutors here in the USA allege that not one but two generations of soccer executives used partnerships with sports marketing companies to solicit $150 million in bribes and kick backs in exchange for among other things, their support for the sites of FIFA World Cup Events from the qualifiers to the 2010 World Cup. A 47-count federal indictment was unsealed in Brooklyn, charging 14 defendants — nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives — with racketeering, wire fraud, money laundering and bribery, among other offenses, in connection with a near quarter-century scheme to enrich themselves through their management of the sport. “The indictment alleges corruption that is rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted both abroad and here in the United States,” U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a release ahead of a news conference in New York.
A Culture Of Corruption At FIFA
Allegations of corruption at FIFA are nothing new. And while everyone accused is innocent until proven guilty there was reason to be extremely concerned about what Ryn described as an ‘open secret’ of corruption for “an organization that considered itself above scrutiny,” Ryn tells her audience.
For More Information
For more information visit Ryn on line at www.rynmleberg.com.
Photo Caption: Attorney General Loretta Lynch is pursuing criminal charges against members of FIFA. She is the only representative of law enforcements with enough influence to do so.