Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What about Fair Play of International Sporting Events?

Sport games are a wonderful celebration of excellence in sports, excitement and pride. The expectation of sporting events is always high and the questions being raised even higher: Will the event help develop the infrastructure and the society of the host country in a sustainable way? Will all the money be well spent? Huge sport games like the Olympics and the European Cup might be vulnerable to corruption in several ways: match-fixing, corporate hospitality, ticket allocations, sale of television rights, corporate sponsoring (for further information please visit ). Above all they represent a big exercise in construction and procurement. Both stand for classic areas that are prone to corruption. In this article I will focus on these two challenges.

The development of infrastructure for international sporting events involves the mobilization of vast resources, complex logistical arrangements and pretty tight timeframes. These challenges probably became a sincere problem for one of the latest European sporting event. In regard of the Euro 2012 allegations of corruption have been made. Ukraine embarked on a program of modernization for Euro 2012. Stadiums were built or renovated, the airports were upgraded and the roads repaired. All this happened without competitive tenders, since in 2010 Ukraine cancelled the tenders for all Euro 2012 projects. Uefa, the governing body of football in Europe, is now under pressure to investigate claims of massive corruption. Opposition politicians claim that $ 4 billion from the state funds were stolen by officials ( ). But also in Brazil the preparation for the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016 face some corruption challenges. In June the government coalition deputies approved a bill that would keep the massive infrastructure budgets secret ( ). Because of critics the text got changed and the budget will be public but just after the public tender process.

In international sporting events many stakeholders are involved: the organizing international organization, the host country, different governments and last but not least the public - just to mention the very important ones. To enhance transparency, the involvement of all these stakeholders is central. A good way to do this is a multisectoral initiative.
In regard of the construction sector the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST) could be of help ( CoST is a country centered multistakeholder initiative designed to promote transparency and accountability in publicly financed construction. CoST’s core is the belief that the processes involved in the construction of public infrastructure must be more transparent.

As all the mentioned critical aspects are important issues for various stakeholders, pressure will increase to make international sport mass gathering events that cost billions of dollars more transparent for them. Then availability of information to the public is of great importance to hold decision makers to account and to ensure better value for money. In this regard issue based multistakeholder initiative represent a promising solution.

Sabrina Stucki

1 comment:

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