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Regulating Against Corrupt Practices, FIFA Edition

Regulating Against Corrupt Practices, FIFA Edition

The world was made officially aware of corruption at FIFA when the U.S. Department of Justice set charges against several FIFA officials in an investigation going back several years. While there were ongoing suspicions of corrupt practices going on at FIFA linked to the World Cup in South Africa and Qatar, no actions had been taken until recently. What likely sparked off the push against FIFA was the national corruption debate in Brazil and its links to the last World Cup. Popular protests against the game that many in Brazil would have called a blessing were tarnished by corruption in the Brazilian government, not to mention FIFA itself. Two Brazilian nationals were charged this past week as well, which comes as no surprise to Brazilians, who are mired in a scandal that may even end in the removal of the president.

Since the global economic crisis of 2007–08, many governments have created new agencies to better regulate many private industries. In those cases where industry leaders have been seen committing severe acts of negligence, official and legally binding regulations have been applied and enforced.

In Brazil, the recent discovery of corrupt practices in their energy and construction industry and links to the ruling party has given the judicial community a great deal of power to enforce and enact new laws. In countries with a strong judiciary, strict guidelines and agencies work to streamline government regulations and their application. In those cases where the industry has been seen as a cooperative member in the policy making process, often voluntary regulations are expected by those companies in self-regulating their own actions and policies.

Legislation, policies and self-regulation will be applied differently in different situations. What has yet to be addressed are policies that are present but not followed by directors, officials or agents of those companies. Although FIFA always had well-scripted policies for self-regulation, when there is a culture of corruption in an already-regulated company or industry, there must also be a means of applying and enforcing the policy.

In many legal cases by individuals against large corporations there is often a trend of company officials bending their own policies in order to treat the victims harshly. The response to breaking their own rules often results in drafting more rules. However, without enforcement the policies are as good as the level of negligence being committed by the offending company officers. For companies to maintain self-regulation, they must actually create policies that are to be used.



Richard Basas

Richard Basas, a Canadian Masters Level Law student educated in Spain, England, and Canada (U of London MA 2003 LL.M., 2007), has worked researching for CSIS and as a Reporter for the Latin America Advisor. He went on to study his MA in Latin American Political Economy in London with the University of London and LSE. Subsequently, Rich followed his career into Law focusing mostly on International Commerce and EU-Americas issues. He has worked for many commercial and legal organisations as well as within the Refugee Protection Community in Toronto, Canada, representing detained non-status indivduals residing in Canada. Rich will go on to study his PhD in International Law.

Areas of Focus:
Law; Economics and Commerce; Americas; Europe; Refugees; Immigration