Is FIFA Self-Destructing?
FIFA, an organization dedicated to preserving futbol, or soccer, and also the organization in charge of the World Cup, has caused quite the stir lately. FIFA is being accused of having a corrupt governing body, and many people want to see FIFA as we know if completely changed. Now, I do not think that this will have much change on the casual soccer fan. The World Cup will still be played, and soccer as we know it will still live on. However, for those who look closely at the behind the scenes work, FIFA could change drastically.
The FIFA governing body, led by President Sepp Blatter, has been accused of being corrupt over his time as President. People have accused him of buying votes, letting people into the governing body who have been prosecuted of corruption, as well as bribing international organizations. The biggest thing that people accuse him of is allowing corruption to go on around the selection of the FIFA World Cup location for 2018 and 2022. During his time served as President, there have been several investigations that have occurred. Many of these investigations have been accused of omitting key findings, as well as not handing down punishments for wrongdoings. The people who are accusing Sepp Blatter of these things believe that he is the worst thing to ever happen to the international soccer community.
New FIFA Now
A new organization called New FIFA Now has organized in hopes of reforming FIFA. This organization is lobbying several different groups do join their cause. These groups include governments, sponsors of FIFA, broadcasters, and players. Their goal is to have Sepp Blatter resign, and to begin reform in what they call, “one of the most discredited organisations in the world with serial allegations of corruption plaguing almost its every move off-the-field in terms of management and governance.” They held a summit in Brussels on January 21st in order to determine what steps they need to take in to accomplish their goal. This is the main catalyst behind the potential reform of FIFA, and they are doing everything that they can in order to ensure that the change that they want to occur does indeed happen.
One of the biggest groups that New FIFA Now is trying to reach is sponsors of FIFA. Surprisingly, they are already having success. Five of the biggest sponsors of FIFA have already pulled their sponsorships. These sponsors include: Emirates, Sony, Johnson & Johnson, Castrol, and Continental. Sponsorships are the main source of FIFA’s income, generating about 1.5 billion dollars every four years. This could be a huge blow to FIFA if more sponsors follow suit.
The Good News for FIFA
There is, however, good news for FIFA in all of this. While it is a big blow for them that sponsors leave, it does not effect how many people watch soccer. According to SBRNet, over 58% of viewers say that sponsorship has no effect on them choosing to watch games.
Another thing that is good for FIFA, is that the sponsors most certainly have something to loose by pulling out of sponsoring FIFA. Sponsors cannot simply go to another team, or another league and expect the same results. The World Cup is far and away the most viewed sporting event on the planet.
Keep on the Lookout
With all of these things happening so recently, who knows what will come out of this potential reform. However, I do believe that it is interesting, and we could possibly see some major reform in the world of soccer.
This blog post was written by one of my students: Clay Hubbard
“Brussels Summit.” NewFIFANow.org. New FIFA Now, n.d. Web. 23 Jan. 2015.
“Castrol, Continental, Johnson & Johnson Join Sony, Emirates In Dropping FIFA.” – SportsBusiness Daily. Sports Business Journal, 23 Jan. 2015. Web. 23 Jan. 2015.
“FIFA Sponsors Targeted By Campaigners Lobbying To Reform The Organization.” – SportsBusiness Daily. Sports Business Journal, n.d. Web. 23 Jan. 2015.
“Soccer Sponsorship Influence Index.” SBR Net. Sports Business Research Network, n.d. Web. 23 Jan. 2015.