Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Commentary in the NYT Room for Debate

I have a commentary up on corruption in international football at the New York Times on their online Room for Debate. The other two commentators are Ronald K. Noble of Interpol and Sharon K.Stoll from the Center for Ethical Theory and Honor in Competition and Sport at the University of Idaho. Here is how my piece starts:
International soccer is being overseen by 20th-century organizations in a 21st-century world. Even before the latest allegations of match-fixing surfaced in the past weeks, this time in Turkey, the Council of Europe had served notice that governments were going to have to play a larger role in protecting against corruption.
 Head over and have a look, and feel free to come back here and tell me what you think!

PS. If you have arrived here for the first time from the NYT, welcome!

1 comment:

  1. The problem with FIFA is a generic problem with international organizations, which are more often than not corrupt. The IWC has nothing to do with sport, but it shares many of the problems FIFA has, particularly the tendency of the representatives of small countries to 'sell' their votes. The UNHRC is beyond a joke.

    My amateur theory; the problem has to do with a mismatch between stake in the outcome and influence over the decision. Jack Warner had very little stake in there being a fair, successful World Cup in 2022, but he had enormous influence in where it was located. Cameroon doesn't whale or have much stake in world whale populations, but it has the same vote in the IWC as the United States. Ultimately this idea that international democracy consists of giving every country, tiny or huge, democratic or totalitarian, an equal vote, is crazy.

    The only consolation is that the *really* important bodies, such as the IMF and World Bank, don't do things this way. Voting in the IMF is by SDRs. Those that foot the bill pull the strings.

    So how would you apply this to FIFA? Calculate the monetary contribution of soccer in each country to its GDP, and weight that country's vote accordingly. Countries with big, expensive leagues, lots of paying fans and big sales of apparel get more votes than Trinidad. Sorry, Jack.