Olympic Games, Football Championships, and Corruption in the Sports Industry

The Handbook of Business and Corruption

ISBN: 978-1-78635-446-4, eISBN: 978-1-78635-445-7

Publication date: 29 August 2017


Given its social importance, Sport (especially Football), which has experienced an astounding transformation into a global industry with significant economic impact, has been a vehicle for the transmission of cultural and universal values. Its structural complexity (players, transfer agents, clubs and its owners, right holders of different contracts) creates a lot of moving parts that can easily hide illicit activity, especially because this structure incorporates the international market. The movement of large amounts of money, the difficulty in accounting for all transactions, and ironically, the clubs’ own financial needs increase this sector’s vulnerability to organized crime. For many years, this sector has had a relatively free hand in its efforts to make criminal assets legal. This is made possible by some ineffectiveness of current national and international laws and enforcement bodies, which have not kept pace with the changing situation. It is already known that sport historically has been used as a tool for enrichment of a specific group of companies, an issue deserving of public concern. This chapter argues for a sensitive situation involving the actors of the public and private sectors, notably its regulations, in order to curb corruption and money laundering through sport. The purpose is to address these matters by identifying the risks of misconduct within sport organizations, and proposing measures that could prevent, hamper, and punish any attempts to thwart these organizations’ main goal: promoting sport as a way for cultural improvement and teaching people the values of tolerance and civilized coexistence.



De Sanctis, F. (2017), "Olympic Games, Football Championships, and Corruption in the Sports Industry", Aßländer, M. and Hudson, S. (Ed.) The Handbook of Business and Corruption, Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 423-452. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78635-445-720161019

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