The governance of football: out of control?

Arnout Geeraert (Leuven University) & Edith Drieskens (Leuven University)

When the Swiss police arrested seven FIFA top officials on corruption charges, astonishment arose less from the possibility that members from FIFA’s inner circle were implicated in criminal activity, but rather from the fact that law enforcement authorities finally agreed to investigate allegations that FIFA was characterized by endemic corruption. FIFA – the world’s governing body of football – has been portrayed in many news outlets and commentaries as an omnipotent organization shunning regulatory control and conducting business according to its own rules. Arnout Geeraert and Edith Drieskens claim that this portrayal is not entirely accurate, arguing that FIFA as well as Europe’s governing body of football, UEFA, are indeed subject to public regulation. They identify the European Union as an actor with the instruments and capacity to limit these organizations’ self-rule. Read their recent article “The EU controls FIFA and UEFA: a principal–agent perspective” published in the Journal of European Public Policy to learn how the European Court of Justice and the European Commission curtail FIFA and UEFA’s autonomy through monitoring, sanctioning and steering.