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Sepp Blatter, the president of FIFA, took the illustrious trophy and handed it to the president of Brazil, Dilma Rouseff. In turn, shegave it to Philippe Lahm, the captain of the victorious German team. The FIFA World Cup cemented its place as the world’s foremost sporting spectacle as millions watched the Germans crowned world champions amongst a fanfare of fireworks, glitter, and music.

Earlier, Blatter had taken his seat between Dilma Rouseff, Angela Merkel, and Vladimir Putin. The position of FIFA president grants access to the most powerful politicians in the world. Football has become a global political and financial juggernaut. Celebrity footballers graced the pitches of Brazil, in state of the art stadia that cost millions of dollars. Off the pitch, global brands purchased exclusive marketing rights to align their products with Brazil 2014, whilst global media companies bought television packages at similarly eye-watering prices.

As the 2014 tournament leaves one of its spiritual homes, our attention turns to the next two hosts. Neither Russia nor Qatar have ever hosted the World Cup, and both have attracted widespread attention for the manner in which they won the rights to host the tournament. In order to account for these changes, this essay will argue that the transformation of FIFA since the 1970s aligns with wider global neo-liberal processes. As global institutions lack accountability to any singular national or supranational authority, personal contacts are exploited and corruption becomes endemic.
The man at the centre of the ticket touting investigation from last month's FIFA World Cup, Ray Whelan, has been released on bail from Rio de Janeiro's Bangu Prison.

The British executive consultant of Match Services, a subsidiary of the company that provides tickets, hospitality and accommodation services for FIFA, was arrested, released and then re-arrested over allegations of involvement in a $100 million (£60 million/€75 million) ticket touting ring.

Whelan handed himself in to police on July 14 after taped recordings were handed to a national television station of Whelan discussing expensive hospitality packages with a French-Algerian, Lamine Fofana, alleged to be the leader of the ticket touting ring.

This followed the Briton's initial arrest on July 7 and release on bail amid a police probe.
The importance of sport within the soft power strategies of nations is illustrated by governing bodies, such as FIFA and the IOC who have more member countries than the United Nations. Soft power refers to:
“the ability to affect others to obtain the outcomes one wants through attraction rather than coercion or payment” (Nye 2008: 94)

In addition, sport is easily accessible as a result of vast media platforms which create a huge potential viewing audience, as in the case of the 2012 London Olympics which made the games available to 4.8 billion people (International Olympic Committee, 2012). Resultantly, sport mega events provide the best opportunity to portray a nation in a manner that may have enhance attractiveness.

FIFA have previously expressed their desire to extend their operations further than just within football. Analysing past, present and future host nations of sport mega-events, it is possible to see how they empower peripheral nations to imprint their national identities on global sport. Rowe (2012) claims that the process of choosing a host nation through bidding and selection allows “many opportunities for the enjoyment of lavish hospitality and for corrupt, or at the very least ethically questionable, practices” (Rowe, 2012: 287)
Formula One magnate Bernie Ecclestone offered yesterday to pay 25 million euros ($36 million) in damages to settle the corruption trial against him in Germany, according to a local news agency. The 83-year-old’s defence team filed a surprise motion at the Munich court to dismiss the charges in exchange for paying the sum to BayernLB bank, German news agency DPA reported. State prosecutors indicated they were open to the proposal but would have to review it in detail, according to the report which cited Ecclestone’s lawyer Sven Thomas.

Under German law, prosecutors may withdraw charges even during certain criminal trials if all parties agree to a settlement. The court later said in a statement that the talks between prosecutors and the defence “on a potential early end to the proceedings have not yet reached a conclusion”.
A new self-help book co-written by two lesser known Ghanaian authors has made it to the top of The Telegraph best seller list, according to reports. ‘Fix it like Forsythe: A guide to dealing with undercover reporters,’ by Mr. NO Forsythe and Mr.OP Boni Nketia, is a step by step guide on the best cause of action for corrupt elected officials and their cronies who are caught on camera doing a dodgy deal with an undercover reporter.

According to the authors, the book was inspired by the video below which is an episode of Dispatches- a British TV award-winning investigative current affairs programme on Channel 4. “The Dispatches team operate like Ghana’s Anas Aremeyaw Anas, so this book will come in handy for all the crooked Ghanaian officials who are worried about Anas exposing your fraudulent deeds with his hidden cameras,” explained one of the authors.
Soccer is a hugely important force in the world today, so it is time for the sport to clean up its act.
Brazil can be proud of the World Cup it held...There were the dodgy calls, blatant flops and Luis Suárez’s bizarre bite, but the perfect last-minute score by Mario Götze, which gave the Cup to Germany, is the more accurate icon of the four-and-a-half-week tournament. In all, the World Cup demonstrated why football, a.k.a. soccer, is the most global and popular of sports. And why it is time for FIFA to measure up to the sport it governs.

These days, a permanent stench seems to hang over FIFA, the organization that has governed world soccer since 1904 and, in recent years, has been linked directly or indirectly to all sorts of financial mismanagement, bribery, embezzlement and match-fixing.

Soccer is a hugely important force in the world today. Its stewards should do everything in their power to keep it clean, safe and fair.
Nepal's powerful parliamentary committee accused the long-time chief of the national football association of embezzling millions and ordered government agencies to investigate, file a case in court, and suspend him...Thapa has been accused by the committee of embezzling 582 million rupees (about $6 million) during his 19-year tenure in the office.

Thapa is a powerful figure in Nepal's sports scene. He was a popular football player who became the head of the association in 1994. He is a vice president of the Asian Football Confederation, and a member of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup committee.

This is not the first time that Thapa has been drawn into controversy. It was revealed in 2012 that Thapa's son took $100,000 from Mohamed bin Hammam, the Qatari who, while heading the AFC, was alleged to have enriched himself and handed out hundreds of thousands of dollars to friends and relatives. Thapa accepted his son took the money, but said it was a personal loan from bin Hammam.
Investigations reveal that elements of the match one saw with their children, cheering on from the stands, the same match one noted as being the source of one of the greatest joys of one’s life, were probably fixed. Certain players and officials are named, investigated and then let off for lack of evidence. The result and honour stands for the team, but the achievement is tainted and so are the memories of a sport that brought the greatest joy to you.

This has become the reality of modern sport. The cloud of fixing has challenged the integrity of sports, including football. The beautiful game has blemishes on its façade. The confidence of fans has been shaken and there lingers a doubt every time one watches a game- what if? This ‘what if’ has become the biggest challenge for authorities tackling dishonest practices in football and Interpol believes the time has come for professional footballers to have integrity clauses woven into their professional contracts that obligate them to be resistant to dishonesty.

At SportAccord, the Integrity Unit has been working on developing this resistance to dishonest practices in sports, including football. This has included launching e-learning programmes for the benefit of athletes for use by Interpol, which has also included professional footballers.
Ray Whelan, the chief executive of Swiss based company Match Hospitality at the centre of of investigation into a ticketing scam at the FIFA World Cup, has belatedly handed himself into police days after being branded a "fugitive" after failing to do so

Whelan gave himself up to the Rio de Janeiro-state Justice Tribunal in downtown Rio and was subsequently picked up by police, a court spokesperson revealed. This follows the Briton's initial arrest on July 7 and release on bail amid a police probe.

Three days later it was claimed Whelan had left the Copacabana Palace Hotel, where Sepp Blatter and other senior FIFA officials were also staying, via a service exit an hour before police arrived to re-arrest him.
He was subsequently placed on an Interpol watch list to aid his capture.

But in a statement, Match strongly denied Whelan had deliberately avoided detention, adding all ticket sales followed FIFA's procedures and they would continue to collaborate with the Brazilian police.
The International Centre for Sport Security has delivered its first match-fixing education and prevention workshops to young players in Tanzania, the first steps into Africa for the organisation’s initiative. As part of the ICSS’s commitment to educate young players about the dangers of match-fixing, officials from the Qatar-based organization earlier this month held workshops for young players and officials at the Tanzanian Football Federation, the Symbion /Sunderland AFC Project and the Tanzania Street Children’s Sports Academy.

Aimed at educating 12- to 18-year-old footballers playing at an academy level as well as children in more vulnerable areas in Tanzania, the programme kicked-off with a presentation to the Tanzania Under-17 Squad at the Karume National Stadium. Rising football stars from the Symbion Football Academy attended the seminars alongside leading officials and coaches from the TFF.
Detectives are keen to establish whether football's global governing body were aware of deals that saw thousands of tickets sold on the black market. Money laundering and tax evasion allegations also part of the worldwide probe. A wide-ranging investigation has been launched into Fifa's involvement in a £58million World Cup ticket-touting racket. Detectives are keen to establish whether football's global governing body were aware of deals that saw thousands of tickets sold on the black market at hugely-inflated prices. Police are trying to establish the source of the scam, but believe 'someone from Fifa' and a middleman from hospitality partners, MATCH, channelled tickets to illegitimate distributors. The firm has become the centre of the scandal after the arrest of its British director, Ray Whelan, who is now considered a 'fugitive' after fleeing his Rio de Janeiro hotel last week.