Phillips & Cohen partner Erika Kelton writes about FIFA’s need for accountability and a robust whistleblower program in her latest article on Forbes.com, published on July 11, 2018:
FIFA’s corruption problems are mind-boggling: Millions paid to secure votes from numerous FIFA executives who determine World Cup host countries, millions more paid to win contracts to televise soccer matches, and even threats against those who have revealed some of FIFA’s dirty secrets.
Clearly, FIFA’s culture and practices need to be reset, and any lingering problems must be rooted out.
One of the best ways to make this happen is to demand that FIFA institute a whistleblower program to encourage whistleblowers to expose the corruption that remains hidden, by guaranteeing them protection from retaliation within FIFA and possibly even a reward, if the information a whistleblower provides leads to an investigation that determines there were significant violations of FIFA’s ethics rules.
Only with the help of knowledgeable insiders will FIFA, the global governing body for soccer, truly be able to dig out the roots of corruption and restore trust in the organization.
FIFA, unfortunately, has demonstrated that it views whistleblowers as the enemy. It has gone through the motions of soliciting information from whistleblowers and protecting their identities, such as placing a form on its website that allows individuals to report concerns anonymously. But its actions conflict with its words.