FITS Forum- follow up comments

AUTONOMY/GOOD GOVERNANCE IN SPORT

It seems to be a critical period for global sport. The main question derived from the speakers is who can safeguard sport? Sport is as any other business, with corruption could easily transform in every life segment. Stronger public pressure (public stakeholders and law enforcement) needed. For example, new Swiss law (on sport) is focusing on punishing measures and introducing criminal offences for bribery and corruption. Speakers named Samaranch, Havelange, Acosta, Diack as sport officials who introduced corruption into system of sport. Question of the legal status, could ISF such as FIFA remain with the same legal status?


korruption

Waiting for ISF to self-regulate is not an option any more. Needs for term modification  “autonomy” of sport. In Spain (example) – In Law, special attention is given to women to be elected in board. Internal democracy necessary for proper governance. Sport organization preforming as a cartel- uncertainty about legal status- membership vs. corporate/ company vs. NGO. On the EU level regulation is not an answer, it’s a question of member states .

FINANCIAL RISKS & WAYS TO GO FOR SAFE SPORT 

Look at the money as fingerprint- follow the money flow. Prosecutors to be more involved in work of sport organizations. Complexity of ownership and financial transaction- open for criminal infiltration. In the USA sport official are not seen as public/political responsible representatives. Governments is obliged to freeze, confiscate, and prosecute with criminal offences. Position of non-state sport actors (ISF) is affecting governance of sport and financial transparency within national frame. Understanding supply chain in sport, with banks as a vital segment looking on related (associate) persons: lawyers, financial institutions, relatives, politicians, public representatives. Homeland:  offender could hind money, but with no possibility to move (undetected) money (expended jurisdiction on sport organization by Patriotic act).

FIBA urge for more public support- restructured but centralization means more productivity in the field of governance; getting more responsibility in the same time developing regional offices; all regions has executive director responsible to FIBA director; proper leadership condition for good governance- healthy sporting organization; financial regulation are the key especially making organization to be sustainable; sport cannot be less obligated than any other activity; sport specific rules should be unify- organizational rules in base should be unify with certain level of cultural diversity . UK Sport – every four year independent audit on governance structure, financial credibility and overall sustainability. Distribution of money in premier league (England): grassroots clubs being neglected mainly by public authorities; proper licensing is a key for better sport; audit to be mandatory for all sport organization; regularly publishing financial data. Investing in sport- position of sponsors: IFS are hiding behind Swiss law; leadership is a key- bizarre that some sponsors stayed with FIFA; sponsors to publish rules and manifesto for any sport organization willing to be supported- zero tolerance on ISF corruption. Transparency of the ISF needs to be mandatory.

Governments to deliver ethical standards obliged for NSF. Homeland security– source of money is not important for us- they are going against criminality or used of that money; sometimes law enforcement needs to terrify sport officials and associated (related) persons.

Third party ownership- England is prohibiting TPO; misusing minors- relations close to slavery. TPO is using loan methods in some examples (trafficking); UEFA: player is not aware who is owner of his economic rights (position of athletes). Contracts are not form in the interest of clubs- an opposite statement by Spanish representatives supporting importance of TPO and signaling about TV rights (how is distributed).

Following needs to be investigated further in order  to enhance fight for integrity in sport:

  • Nature of the sport organizations based on the main classification and their legal status (company vs. NGO).
  • European model of sport is not a unique one. It is considered to be pyramidal and club oriented, but in the way how is governed, or level of the autonomy is far away of being synchronized- question of the autonomy (how and from who/what is the range of sport specific rules)?
  • Legally binding norms derived from the Law on Sport and other supporting acts as a foundation for setting up governing mechanisms within NSF.
  • Level of the state interventionism within NSF based on the above legal norms-
  • Institutional position of athletes within NSF. Ways to improve their position within NSF existing structures (example: ProSafeSport project).

Concluding notes:

  1. Except in terms of contracts, there were no mentioning of athletes as an important segment of good governance and making necessary amendments to recognize their rights to be involved in decision-making process. Good governance and sport promoting societal, educational and health values is impossible without institutional positioning of athletes within ISFs and NSFs in way to strengthen their current position and to have more obligation/responsibility for their own  and future of particular sport.
  2. Training/seminar for sport officials/administrators regarding possible treats on money laundry, tax evasion, public procurement procedure, conflict of interests within ISFs and NSFs (from national to the international level) is very much needed.
  3. Sport system should be centered on Pierre de Coubertin words:

“In order for 100 people to develop their bodies it is necessary for 50 to practice a sport, and in order for 50 to practice a sport it is   necessary for 20 to specialize; but in order for 20 to specialize it is necessary for 5 to be capable of outstanding achievement.”

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