Match-fit FIFA would give players, fans more ball

June 3, 2015

Sepp Blatter has resigned as the besmirched president of soccer’s governing body. Needed reform is now unavoidable. FIFA’s best strategy would be to embrace it by enfranchising the beneficial owners of the sport: the players and the fans. It would also usher in better governance.

Rob Cox: If FIFA were a country it would be Russia

By Rob Cox
June 2, 2015

The soccer federation run by Sepp Blatter and the Russian one headed by Vladimir Putin operate as baroque patronage systems, their bosses doling out favors from the center. Power derives from keeping constituents both fragmented and well heeled.

The FIFA big boss guide to executive survival

May 28, 2015

Soccer’s supremo Sepp Blatter may win a fifth four-year presidency at the scandal-wracked governing body. Even if he fails, his tenacity is remarkable. It owes much to FIFA’s financial success, but also cumbersome governance and tin ears. Those help all boardroom Machiavellis.

To fix FIFA, start with the sponsors

May 28, 2015

U.S. prosecutors allege that shadowy marketing agencies diverted cash from the likes of Toyota, Santander and probably Nike to corrupt soccer officials. Big bucks are at stake. FIFA’s revenue from 2011 to 2014 was $5.7 bln. In future, contractual transparency will be paramount.

FIFA cover-up almost a dare for U.S. enforcers

May 27, 2015

In November, the Zurich-based World Cup organizer whitewashed an internal investigation, according to the former U.S. attorney who conducted it. Swiss authorities were alerted, but FIFA largely dismissed corruption allegations. No wonder American prosecutors have gone in hard.

U.S. well placed to blow whistle on soccer excess

May 27, 2015

Americans already act as the globe’s legal enforcer and financial regulator. Now a Federal prosecutor is filling soccer’s refereeing void with a direct tackle on its long-running corruption allegations. FIFA, the sport’s governing body, faces a long overdue reformation.

Three ways for FIFA to score on governance

June 6, 2014

Ugly allegations of corruption have caught soccer’s governing body offside. FIFA’s setup has improved lately but its congress is unrepresentative, its executive committee is too large, and its president is too powerful. The beautiful game should shoot for a hat-trick of reforms.

Cup loss wouldn’t be end of the world for Qatar

May 31, 2011

The World Cup is no small prize for Qatar. It's far from clear that the Gulf state will lose the right to host the prestigious 2022 soccer tournament. But even if the worst happened, it might do no more than put a small dent in the $77 billion of domestic spending promised as part of its aggressive bid campaign.