- a lack of confidence in existing institutions, arising from
- a perception of political, economic and social (sports) leadership that fails to listen and are not held to account for wrong decisions, misguided policies and improper or mis-management;
- failure to root out corruption at all levels of political, economic and social leadership, and
- a perception that economic progress has failed to ensure that infrastructure as well as health and education facilities do not trail the lifting of huge numbers out of poverty; and
- a demand for social justice, dignity and inclusiveness.
“FIFA rules nations”
- “The World Cup perpetuates our urban crisis. We have become disenfranchised consumers.
- “We live in cities that operate on profit in which residents are not consulted. People are fed up with not having a say.”
- “The real president of our country is FIFA. FIFA comes to our country, sets up a state within a state, and leaves.”
Sports governance: A sound policy prescription
- A recognition that sports and politics are inextricably intertwined. Denial of this fact of life undermines credibility and flies in the face of reality. That reality is evident at every twist of the road from the direct involvement of rulers, politicians and governments in the boards and executive committees of regional and international sports associations to the use of mega events by nations and governments to the role that global governing bodies play in the legitimization of rulers. That recognition should lead to the creation of a charter and/or code of conduct that governs the relationship between sports and politics;
- A revisiting of the criteria for the awarding of mega events. This would involve inclusion of international human, labour and gender standards in the awarding criteria as well as greater public engagement in the national and urban decision making process, enhanced transparency of the infrastructural requirements a host has to meet and the terms of the agreement between the sports association and the host. Sports associations will have to balance the infrastructural requirements of a tournament with the long-term needs, cultural identity and popular aspirations of host cities and ensure that its demands are in line and balanced with overall urban and municipal policies rather than at the expense of. They will have to also revisit their positioning as supra-national entities that are laws unto themselves.
- A restructuring of regional and international sports associations that is governed by regulation of the relationship between sports and politics, takes grassroots into considerations and ensures that grassroots voices are heard, and enshrines independent oversight, monitoring and auditing that gives credibility to combatting and preventing abuse of power, mismanagement and corruption