Doing the impossible: Holding FIFA Accountable



fifa logo 2There is a sense of frustration in bringing that unruly and labyrinthine football entity known as FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) into the world of squeaky clean finance. It resists two terms with an almost tribal enthusiasm: accountability and transparency. Both concepts are intrinsically linked – that of transparency being a means to keep accountability on the straight and narrow; accountability making it easier to be transparent. The operating rationale of FIFA has been to reject both concepts. When the football players start dribbling the ball, the bureaucrats are forgotten.

Academics have ventured into this field with ponderous unease and postulated several models of accountability (Roger Pielke Jr. in Sport Management Review suggests seven), though this is by no means reliable. A rather simple view is put forth by R. Grant and R. O. Keohane in the American Political Science Review (2005), though their recipe is intended as a broad splash over a range of fields. Accountability “implies that some actors have the right to hold other actors to a set of standards, to judge whether they have fulfilled their responsibilities in light of those standards, and to impose sanctions if they determine that those responsibilities have not been met.”

Part thief and part bargain hunter

The whole point of FIFA is that it resists theorisation on an easy model in a world of opaque global governance. It is, in itself, an organism of considerable sophistication, part thief and part bargain hunter. It also plays the best of games, having voices within it who sing the song of transparency without having the vote to push it through. Its church is broad enough to tolerate dissent without actual change.

Michael GarciaMichael Garcia (photo), the ethics chief beavering into FIFA’s bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, reminded those who cared to listen that his report ought to be released in full. How utterly idiosyncratic of him, and how demonstratively ignorant. According to Hans-Joachim Eckert, head of the adjudicatory arm of the ethics committee, only four people have laid eyes on Garcia’s 350-page report, and the fewer eyes the better. It could be destined for the archives, the incinerator, or a lonely life as a Continue reading

Bolivia to Hold CELAC Anti-Graft Meeting

Source:  Presna Latina

La Paz, Nov 4

CELAC logo 2Representatives from over 30 nations will gather in Bolivia on Nov.8 for a conference of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) on transparency and the fight against corruption.

According to a note posted on the website of the Ministry of Transparency and Fight against Corruption, the meeting will be held at Los Tajibos Hotel, in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, in eastern Bolivia.

Bolivia is to take advantage of the meeting to report her achievements and experiences in the field.

According to Minister of Transparency, Nardi Suxo, comptrollers, deputy ministers and officials in charge of the fight against corruption from the 33-member bloc are expected to attend the event, aimed at establishing joint strategies to fight for transparency in he region.

Created in 2010 on late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’ initiative, CELAC aims to create its own space and promote integration and development of Latin American and Caribbean countries.

Edward Snowden: Profile in Courage


edward-snowdenEdward Snowden may go down in history as one of this nation’s most important whistleblowers. He is certainly one of the bravest.  The 29-year-old former technical assistant to the CIA and employee of a defense intelligence contractor has admitted to disclosing top secret documents about the National Security Agency’s massive violation of the privacy of law-abiding citizens.

Like Daniel Ellsberg, who disclosed the Pentagon Papers, Snowden is a man of principle. “The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to,” he told interviewers.  “There is no public oversight.  The result is that [NSA employees] have the latitude to go further than they are allowed to.” For example, he said, he could have accessed anyone’s e-mail, including the president’s.

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See also:  Source of huge U.S. intel leak deals blow to Obama

The UN Security Council must be democratized … Cuba

UNITED NATIONS.—Cuba has called for an urgent and profound reform of the Security Council to eliminate the lack of transparency, democracy and effectiveness of this principal UN body responsible for peace and international security. It has also demanded its immediate enlargement, both in terms of permanent and non-permanent members, and the eradication of the veto privilege, given its anachronistic and anti-democratic nature.

These demands were expressed by Pedro Núñez Mosquera, Cuba’s permanent Continue reading

In Cuba Voters Select Candidates

Interview by Argentine journalist Carlos Aznárez with President Ricardo Alarcón of the National Assembly of People’s Power

Outside of Cuba there is an idea that elections here are questionable insofar as there is only one Party. How is the Cuban electoral system organized and what are its values, speaking in terms of democracy?

In Cuba voters select candidatesWe are now in an electoral process. This is one of the fundamental differences with the model in vogue, with its supposed paradigm. The essence of election system in the contemporary Western world implies that electors, who are not all citizens but rather a part, are called on to vote for certain candidates who have Continue reading