A new report from Transparency International says most of FIFA’s 209 member associations publish little or no information about how they spend millions of dollars from world football’s governing body. Highlighting the potential for corruption, the study into the governance structures of the federations questions what the FAs do with the more than $1m they each received from FIFA in 2014.
Among the findings: 168 federations, including the Ghana Football Association, do not make financial records publicly available; and 85% of FAs publish no activity accounts of what they do.
According to the report by the Global anti-corruption body, the Ghana football Association scored ZERO, in all four categories of the 2015 Football Governance League Table.
The Report says Ghana, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Comoros, Eritrea and Algeria are amongst the worst run Associations in Africa.
Egypt scored in three out of the four categories, representing Africa’s highest in terms of the level of transparency.
Transparency International looked at how FAs account for their activities based on the information publicly available on each FA’s official website. They chose four basic areas of information drawn from a work on the Business Principles for Countering Bribery in small and medium-sized enterprises and Transparency in Corporate Reporting.
These methodologies were developed to identify best business practice for countering corruption.
Scoring was split into four categories, and a point was given for each of the following
Organisational statutes or charter
Annual activity report
Code of conduct or ethics
The study reveals that the Ghanaian FA scored zero in all four categories of the transparency index.
Only 14 out of the 209 FAs – Canada, Denmark, England, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Portugal, the Republic of Ireland and Sweden – publish the minimum amount of information to show what they do and how they spend their money.
FIFA says the money is for football development. But other than a partial accounting on the FIFA web site, there is no clear way to track what the FAs did with all that money.
81 per cent of FAs have no financial records publicly available
21 per cent of FAs have no websites
85 per cent of FAs publish no activity accounts of what they do
Transparency International looked for what information is publicly available on the websites of the activities and expenditures of the 209 FAs and six regional Confederations. We wanted to find out how transparent they are about the money they receive from FIFA and their other revenues. Many of the FAs and the confederations have income from sponsors, broadcasting licenses, ticket sales, international matches and other sources in addition to the funds for FIFA. While they prominently display the logos of their sponsors on their homepages, little to no information is provided on the value of these deals and activities. We also sent emails to all 209 FAs asking them for links to the information because many websites are hard to navigate and the information hard to find1 . Only fourteen out of FIFA’s 209 football associations.
Transparency International researched FA websites to source details about financial accounts, governing statutes, codes of conduct and annual activity reports.
“The risk of corruption at too many football associations around the world is high,” said TI director Cobus de Swardt.
“This problem is made worse by the lack of information such as audited financial statements by many associations.
“FIFA needs to enforce better governance on its members as well as on itself. The good that football can do is tarnished when corruption is allowed to flourish.
With the five-man race on to replace Sepp Blatter as FIFA president after months of crisis and scandal at the federation, Swardt added: “Any incoming president of FIFA must make it a priority to create more accountable governance throughout the organizations from the bottom, as well as from the top.”
He said world football’s six confederations could also improve. Only two publish financial accounts – UEFA and African football’s ruling body.
TI has made a series of recommendations to FIFA. It calls for the world federation to mandate all its members to make publicly available the following information as a pre-requisite for membership and financial assistance: audited financial accounts, an annual activities report, code of conduct and organizational statutes.
The anti-corruption body also wants FIFA to make easily accessible all charters and annual activity and financial reports of associations on its main website, while the confederations are urged to publish financial accounts and codes of conduct on their websites.
The International Centre for Sport Security described the new research as “a damning indictment on financial transparency in football”, saying it was a timely examination of the level of financial and functional transparency in global football governance.
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