Is the Corporate Governance of World Sport in Crisis?

Is the Corporate Governance of World Sport in Crisis?

Lessons from the FIFA reform process: what can FIFA learn from the International Olympic Committee?

Lankaster Lecture Theatre (University College London)
Medawar Building,
Malet Place (off Torrington Place),
London WC1
Wednesday 22nd February 2012 at 6pm
(For directions click here)

Given by: Jens Sejer Andersen, International Director, Play the Game and the Danish Institute for Sport Studies


Jens Sejer Andersen is the founder, and now the International Director, of Play the Game, a Danish NGO established to provide a forum for informed and critical debate and dialogue on the critical issues facing sport. Starting with its first conference in Copenhagen in 1997, Play the Game has consistently offered a principled and rigorous forum where the most politically sensitive issues in sport – doping, corruption, poor governance, match fixing, political abuse, and the failure to mobilise ordinary people in the management of sport – can be debated openly. The 2011 Play the Game conference in Cologne, Germany, included the usual diverse range of presentations from stakeholders in the sport movement; for example long-time FIFA critic investigative reporter Andrew Jennings made his case for root & branch reform of FIFA, whilst former international director of FIFA, Jerome Champagne, for the first time since leaving FIFA outlined his vision for the future of FIFA to a public audience.

In this presentation Jens will first explain how he was inspired, through his original professional vocation as a young journalist covering sports stories, to establish Play the Game. To his amazement he found that the most important sport stories never appeared on the sport pages.

He will then go on to outline what he believes, drawing on the recent experience of Play the Game, are the most significant governance challenges facing the sport sector at this time. Notably, corruption scandals at FIFA, and at the international volleyball and handball federations, not only taint the image of sport, but threaten the very values sport claims to bring to society. He will argue that through match-fixing, doping and other forms of corruption organised crime is slowly but surely infiltrating sport.

Finally, he will present a critical assessment of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) governance reforms in the last decade triggered by its response to the 1998/1999 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics bidding scandal. He will then compare the IOC’s response to that of FIFA’s to the corruption allegations that have be-set football’s world governing body over the last decade culminating in the 2011 FIFA presidential elections and World Cup 2018 and 2022 bidding processes.

Video Interview with Jens Andersen

For those who were unable to attend Jens Andersen’s presentation a 30 minute interview where Jens discusses the key issues covered in his presentation can be viewed here:



Jens Sejer Andersen is a journalist and international director of the Play the Game initiative. From 1990-2003 Jens was editor-in-chief for the Danish Gymnastics and Sport Associations magazines. He organised the first international media seminar on sport and society in 1997 and has been responsible for leading the organisation of the bi-annual Play the Game conferences since then. He is a member of the Danish Institute for Sport Studies from 2004 until its merger with Play the Game in 2010. He has been an Editorial Board Advisor to the International Council for Sport Science and Physical Education since 2006.

Contact Details

For further details on this seminar series contact:

Sean Hamil
Department of Management
Birkbeck College
Malet Street

Tel: 020-7631 6763

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