The recent alleged FIFA unethical behaviour has a disappointing message for ethics in sport.
In Article No 7 (Sports ethics: Why are some sportspeople unethical?) I gave examples of how some individual sportspeople behave unethically in their efforts to win.
Some of the most senior officials (yes not 1 or 2 but 11) in the game of soccer (football in the UK) have been accused of corruption – taking bribes to fix where the future football world cup take place. FIFA unethical behaviour means that the most senior controlling body of football in the world cannot be trsuted.
Again, to those of us who would never dream of taking a bribe, why do people do this? If the allegations concerning FIFA unethical behaviour are true, it cannot be because the official taking the bribes are poor. So what is it … is it greed? Surely these well-educated people know they are doing wrong – they are for sale! But are they fully aware that they are a) debasing their sport and b) abusing the trust of football fans the world over. If an unethical official votes for a country based solely on how much they will pay him/or her, perhaps the players and fans will not get the best facilities and event possible.
What about the unethical behaviour of the countries prepared to take part in unethical FIFA bribes and win by bribing? Again if the allegations are proven, what does that tell us. That the officials of those bribing countries (perhaps with the knowledge of their governments), are so desperate for the financial gain from holding a World Cup, that they are prepared to behave unethically.
So just like the sportsperson who winds by taking drugs will gain no real satisfaction from a win, so the officials who win a bid by bribing will know in their hearts that their bid was not the best. But again, do they care??? Perhaps that is why legal repercussions are required.
As an aside, is it ethical for FIFA officials to spend FIFA funds on the best/most expensive hotels in the world. I wonder if they fly first class?