The Current

Fixing FIFA: Critics fume over corruption allegations

With the World Cup only days away, fans are excited about the game they love. But many are also infuriated over allegations of corruption that plague the Cup's organizing body, FIFA....
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With the World Cup only days away, fans are excited about the game they love. But many are also infuriated over allegations of corruption that plague the Cup's organizing body, FIFA.

Super fan and comedian John Oliver expressed similar sentiments...



Many fans couldn't understand the decision to hold the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Temperatures in Qatar can hit 50 degrees Celsius, possibly making it unsafe for athletes. As well, there's a lot of construction work to be done to get ready for the games, and Qatar's record on labour rights is vile.

This month, the British newspaper The Sunday Times offered an explanation. Citing a "bombshell cache" of millions of e-mails and documents, the paper alleged that officials with FIFA were paid to give the tournament to Qatar.

Allegations of bribery and corruption have dogged FIFA for decades. And two years ago, FIFA set up the Independent Governance Committee and asked its members to come up with a plan to make the association more transparent. But some say the situation has failed to improve.

They very often say the right things...but the significant governance changes that could have a real impact have not been embraced.Alexandra Wrage, former member of FIFA's Independent Governance Committee

We talked to three guests about the future of the troubled organization:

  • Alexandra Wrage is the Founder and President of Trace International and a former member of FIFA's Independent Governance Committee.
  • David Larkin is an international sport attorney and the co-director of ChangeFIFA.
  • Elvis Lee will be cheering on Brazil's national team in the World Cup. Mr. Lee lives in Toronto and is originally from Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
  • We asked to interview a representative from FIFA. Its media department replied that due to preparations for the World Cup, everybody was really busy and unfortunately it could not make anyone available.

Do you think FIFA needs to change?

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This segment was produced by The Current's Gord Westmacott, Marc Apollonio, and intern Sam Colbert.

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