Perhaps the least surprising revelation this year is that there is evidence that FIFA may be corrupt. The recent FBI investigation into alleged institutionalised corruption at FIFA has resulted in the arrest of 18 officials and also culminated in FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, resigning.
There are currently ongoing investigations into allegations of bribery and racketeering which has resulted in the allocation of; major tournaments, television rights and funding for sporting infrastructure and stadia. Furthermore the Irish FA was paid $5 million to not take legal action against France over a dubious handball decision in a crucial game.
The UK has now also begun proceedings against Football’s governing body. Under the Bribery Act 2010 any business that is incorporated or trades in the UK is liable for prosecution if it is found to have broken the law. The Act covers bribery committed by an organisation, or on its behalf, anywhere in the world.
It is one of the world’s toughest anti-corruption laws and bribery offences now carry a penalty of up to 10 years’ in prison. The punishment for business and corporations is equally serious with unlimited fines a potential consequence.
Bribery can include many common business practices, such as providing clients with gifts, hospitality and entertainment on a quid pro quo basis. The Act provides for corporate and personal criminal liability by introducing four new criminal offences; bribing another, being bribed, bribing a foreign public official, and failure by a commercial organisation to prevent bribery.
Following on from the recent arrests FIFA will need to make sweeping reforms to remove the bribe culture that is currently embedded into the organisation. With more arrests expected over the coming months be sure to watch this space. If you would like a policy review for bribery then please click here.