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Integrity Issues In Sports Add in library

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Describe about the Integrity Issues in Sports?



The gradual expansion of sports in the professional arena has lately witnessed the advent of betting markets in the international level. This is considered by researchers to be direct outcome of the demands of the consumers of the advancements in technology that has given the business sectors a reason to cheer as a result of the increasing fiscal benefits and it also reinforced the relationship between the two.

These facts are evident from the mutual benefits that the commercial undertakings are gaining in recent years through the help of different events in sports and clubs and people . They are also gaining other benefits from the various advertisements involving different sports within the framework of the laws. Nevertheless, it should also be noted that there exists also a number of such parties who tend to have a negative impact on the integrity of these sports and the related events (Arksey, 2000). These parties generally attempt to get identified in the organizers list for commercial as well as integrity grounds. Attempts have been made on putting a number of restrictions with regard to betting and restrictions on the access of market for the private operators. This is primarily done to protect the sports. This issue of integrity in sports has been increasing substantially and law makers have been recently drawn to debates regarding the same. The departments for law enforcements, the stakeholders and all related people are in a desperate mood to seek remedies to this global crisis.

In this area of integrity in sports a number of issues fall among which the vital issues are any incidents of abuse, violence, attempts to win beyond the rules that have been given in the game, any kind of harassment and inequality, any form of anti social conducts, issues relating to junior participation or gender related issues, matters pertaining to wellbeing of athletes and vital roles relating to that. In the given research study the researcher aims to explore the integrity issues in the game of soccer and the various case studies relating to some of these vital issues.

Code of Ethics & Conduct

There exist a number of bodies in the United Kingdom that is concerned with the regulation of the Code of ethics and the conduct of the sportspersons as well as the other people who are related to the sport in any manner (Ekblom, 1994). For instance the national governing bodies along with the government of United Kingdom as laid down a number of rules and regulations that needs to be followed by the coaches.

Some of the rules and ethics that are to be carried out by the coaches are similar in all kind of sports including soccer. For instance, the coaches should always abide by the ethical and moral standards with regard to the relationships in this field, maintain confidentiality, refrain from abuse of privilege, keep up the safety, should be committed and should always come up for cooperation.

With regard to the issues on integrity the coaches should never support the players or performers when they violate any rule of the sports. They should always try to prevent them and condemn any such act that they observe and in turn they should always encourage the players to abide by the spirit of the games (Sporis, 2013).

Additionally, the coaches should never attempt to compromise the players to support such kind of measures which result in an unfair advantage for the players. Adoption of such practices which result in the enhancement of the performances of the players might put the players in an unsafe position as a result of which the players might not be able to participate properly in future. They should also never try to support or overlook the use of drugs or any related products which are banned or which enhance the performance of the players (Arksey, 2000).

While conducting the duties of the coach, the coach must also make sure that the conduct of the training programs or the competition programs are in accordance to the age, experience and capabilities of the performers.

The opponents should always be given their due respect whether it is during victories or in defeats. The coaches should also persuade the performers to act in the same manner. Another very significant role of the coach would be to react to success and failure both in a stoic manner (Ekblom, 1994).

They are also liable to be responsible for the behavior of the players or performers and stop them from behaving improperly during training and during competitions.


NGB and its guidelines in Soccer

There exist a number of national governing bodies of sports which are responsible for supervising different sports. Most of these bodies are recognized by the government which supports a number of sports in a number of different methods so that they deliver proper programs and get more people to play the specific sports (Nafziger & Ross, 2011).

These national governing bodies are experts in those sports which they are supervising and managing. Hence they would be able to develop such programs that are would be able to address the problems which are creating barriers for the players and restricting new players to join the game. These governing bodies also tend to provide investments that assist the growth and expansion of the talented athletes in a number of sports (Morrow, 1999). The government takes all necessary steps to identify those national governing bodies which develop and grow like an organization and hence it provides for different services in various areas such as partnerships, legal issues etc.

The Football Association is an organization that governs the sport of football or soccer in England. Established in 1863, the association is the oldest in the world and is supervises all the features of the game in the country. The association authorizes all the competitive matches at the national level and it also indirectly authorizes the local matches through the County Football Associations. The most competition that it conducts is the FA Cup. It further manages the appointments and managements with regard to the men’s team or the women’s team or the youth teams.

With regard to the issues of integrity this association is extremely particular with the rules and regulations. It clearly lays down the prohibitions with regard to betting. The rules state that in order to preserve the beauty and bright future of the game it is important to maintain the integrity of the game (Parrish, 2003).

These rules and regulations are applicable to all the individuals who are involved in the game ranging from the players to the managers and officials and staffs. Recently changes in the rules were made by the association when an international ban was raised on betting from August 2014. This ban was applicable to the Football League, the Super League for Women, the Football Conference and the Premier League. The ban was also applicable for the different north and south leagues and also the other participants. All of these people are restricted from involving in betting whether in a direct or indirect manner for any soccer match that takes place in any place in the world. All kinds of football related matters would be included in the betting ban.

These rules on betting are related to the transfer of the players and the appointment and employment of the managers and the teams. Further the leaking of any information for the usage of betting also should be prohibited.

According to the rules any player is not allowed to bet on any soccer game or any competition where they are playing or is involved in any other manner where such an act can influence the game or the league in which it is played. No player or performer can utilize or give out any information regarding betting. Some of the participants have different betting rules. These include those people who are in the National League System.


Doping in Soccer

Drugs that enhance the performance of the players in the game of soccer are not a new guest in this world. Drugs have been used by soccer players since a long time. The most significant reason for the drug use to be hidden is the fact that the testing facilities in this game were absent. The use of recreational drugs is very evident in the high profile sports teams and as a result the game of soccer suffers a lot from the use of these kinds of recreational drugs. One of the very famous soccer players who had fallen prey to doping was Diego Maradona who was found to be taking cocaine which happens to be a banned drug in most countries and especially in the area of sports. This incident had taken place in the year 1991 (Duval, 2014). The usage of performance enhancing drug is commonly known as doping in the sports organizations. This has recently lowered in the apparent use of drugs in the game of soccer. However, when observed closely it may be evident that when further investigation would be conducted, proper detection would be done and data would be collected throughout the different places in the world, the results may be different (Ćorluka, Gabrilo & Blažević, n.d.).

Critics have usually claimed that the soccer players in the English Premier league are tested as much as they should have been tested. In all other sports including cycling and races generally the chances remain much more and hence the tests are also conducted more number of times as compared to soccer. Critics have also compared the soccer players to the basketball players were the players are testes more often. However, the response to this criticism has also been immense. In the country of England, the governing body controls the anti-doping programs. This is the Football Association. The organization stresses on the testing of the players in a random manner in collaboration with the Anti-Doling Agency of the United Kingdom. The testing is generally done during the time the players are away from the games in their house or when they are practicing in the training sessions (Malcolm & Waddington, 2008). For the test the urine and blood samples of the players are taken and before the commencement of the game session the Football Association produces a report of the blood profiling program.  

Even though the number of cases in doing in the game of soccer is less that does not mean that there have been no cases of doping in English soccer. Methylhexaneamine, is a drug that enhances the performance of the players. One of the Barnet players named Mark Marshall was caught taking this drug. As a result of which the player had received a two year ban from the game. At the same time there were two other players who were tested positive for cannabis and were thrown out of the competition (Gibbons & Nuttall, 2014). These players also received a month suspension. The Barnet Winger player Mark Marshall had however, received a higher suspension with a ban from the game for a period of two years when he failed the drugs test. After the league match against the team of Dagenham & Redbridge this player was tested and he was found to be taking the stimulant methylhexaneamine. The suspension was conducted by an independent regulatory committee. Mark was said to be preparing to launch an appeal against the ban from the game claiming for the injustice done towards him.

There happens to be another case of ban on a soccer player as a result of the doping charge against him. Ace English footballer Rio Ferdinand had been banned from the game of football for a period of eight months after he was absent during a drug test. The player was a defender in the well known English Club of Manchester United. Further he was fined with £50,000. The fact in this case was that the player had missed the drug test that was being carried on. The punishment for this was declared after a disciplinary committee was held by the Football Association to hear the case. The charge on the player was that he had missed the drug test which was carried with his knowledge. The founding of the disciplinary committee was that the charge on the player was proved and hence he would be considered to be guilty in the case. The player was one of the most expensive players in the club. The player has an opportunity to appeal against the ban. The independent tribunal had found the player guilty of not drug charges but of misconduct for failing to be able to appear on the day of drug test. It should also be noted that the player had been selected for giving a sample to the officials of the United Kingdom doping agency.


Match fixing in Soccer

The world of sports has witnessed match fixing for a number of years. Match fixing refers to the condition when the game is being played in such a manner which is totally or partly being determined previously as a result of which it violates the rules of the game and also the law in sports (Hudson, 2009).

There exist a number of reasons for people resorting to match fixing. However, one of the most common reasons for match fixing happens to be the exchange of money from the people who gamble in the match (Anderson, n.d.). Once money has exchanged hands the players tend to perform badly so that they can get an advantage or are profited later on. They sometimes act as a easy opponent and let the other team win. One of the oldest match fixing cases in English soccer happened in the year 1915. The match was between Liverpool and Manchester United. During the game the Liverpool team purposely played badly and finally the match ended with a score board of 2-0.

Later on the media and the public wet crazy with the allegations of match fixing. It was further alleged that a huge amount of money was exchanged as a result of betting at the odds of 7/1. Later the Football Association conducted an investigation and the players were found guilty of betting.

Contemporary times have also observed the presence of match fixing and betting in the game of soccer. In the year 2013 a number of soccer players were arrested and by the National Crime Agency as it was suspected that these soccer players were associated with match fixing of the football matches of the English Association (Anderson, n.d.). An investigation was carried out by two leading newspapers namely the Sun on Sunday and the Daily Telegraph. Another investigation was also carried out by the internet website FederBet. The case was dragged for a while and in mid 2014, the Birmingham Crown Court found some of the players guilty. The people found guilty were Krishna Sanjey Ganeshan, Chann Sankaran and Michael Boateng. They were found to be guilty of committing bribery. One of them Hakeem Adelakun was acquitted while another Moses Swaibu was kept for retrial. The player who was convicted faced serious charges. Two of them who were businessmen were sentenced to a prison term of five years and the player Boateng was sentenced to an imprisonment of eighteen months.

After the match fixing scandal broke loose, the entire process of the working of the match fixing came in the forefront. The primary revelations were that the cost of the fixing was extremely high in the country and the players were also given a high payment to an approximately £70,000. There were two matches that were targeted for the match-fixing (Rigozzi, 2010). The way the match would be paid and the number of goals to be scored in the matches were all pre-decided. It was also planned that the player would receive a yellow card at the beginning of the game as an indication that the match could be controlled. Hence it can be construed that integrity issues can be extremely crucial in any sports and not following the rules and regulations generally result in legal issues ('Soccer & Society', 2010). From the above study it is relevant that the integrity issues in match fixing is more serious as compared to the doping issues in soccer.


The role of the Court of Arbitration for maintaining integrity in soccer

The Court of Arbitration for sports is a quasi judicial international body which deals with all kind of disputes that arise in the world of sports. The head quarter of the court is located in Switzerland in the city of Lausanne and it also has courts in New York and Sydney.

A dispute can be submitted in the Court of Arbitration only when there is an agreement of arbitration between the parties that is interested to resolve their disputes in this Court and the agreement specifically states that in case of dispute it would be resolved through the Court of Arbitration (Bernasconi & Rigozzi, 2009).

There are specified rules which provide for the procedural rules to be followed when resolving disputes in the Court of Arbitration (Duval, 2014). The rules have been mentioned in the Code of Sports-related Arbitration and Mediation Rules. Specifically, there are four types of procedures.

The first is related to normal arbitration which governs the disputes on the very primary basis. The cases which are generally assigned to this department are the commercial cases that involve disputes between contracts, media rights, licensing etc (Mavromati, n.d.).

The second type of procedure is the most important in the study as it relates to the appeals made against the bodies of sports and that includes disputes connecting to compensations, disciplinary actions, violation of anti-doing rules and disputes relating to compensation. It must be noted that almost 15% of the appeal cases that are brought forward in the Court of Arbitration are related to match-fixing and corruption and related to the integrity of the sports.

The third type of procedure available is the ad-hoc division which is generally set up during the major gaming events and during these events an ad-hoc division is set up at the place of the event. During this time the panel is on-call and hears appeal and issues the decisions within a limited time period.

The Court of Arbitration hears appeals for all sports that include soccer also. In a number of cases concerning football the Court of Arbitration has given decisions (Mangan, 2009). One of the recent examples of a case of the Court of Arbitration has been provided here.

An investigation was conducted by the Federation of International Football Association considering the registration of the soccer players within the years 2009 and 2013. After the investigation the soccer clubs Barcelona and the Spanish Football Federation were found to be guilty of infringement of rules relating to ten soccer players.

A fine was imposed on the soccer club Barcelona and the club was restricted from transfers. An appeal was made by the Catalan club on the decision and finally the embargo had been suspended. Later the Spanish Club Barcelona brought the case to the Court of Arbitration for sports and it was primarily because it desperately wanted the decision to be overturned.

The appeal by Barcelona was rejected by the Court of Arbitration and the fourteen month ban on the club by FIFA was upheld and the Catalan Club was also not permitted to sign the players until the stipulated time period was over.

Along with the ban there was also a fine that was to be paid by the Barcelona Club and also a reprimand when it was observed that the regulations of the FIFA were violated with regard to the registration of the minor players.

Hence it can be stated the Court of Arbitration for sports is very rigid with the integrity issues and plays a vital role in upholding the sanctity in the sports.


All sports in the world should display the right amount of integrity since that would make the sport identify as an honest and a genuine dealing in game. Integrity in sports include the depicting superior sportsmanship, making provisions for protective, just and comprehensive environment for all people involved and it would also be expected that all players in the game would abide by the rules of fair play that has been given in the rule book (Gardiner, 2006).

Any sport that shows appropriate amount of integrity shows how the confidence level, trust and assistance of the community increase. Hence it can be stated that the integrity has serious impact on the business of sports (Reilly, 2012).

When in a particular sport the level of integrity is high it generally leads to better participation of people in that sport. This is because the honesty of members attracts people towards the sport. High level of integrity means that the sport would be more viable financially since the funding companies; sponsors would be attracted to the game (Lewis & Taylor, 2008). Also the membership would be increased. Further, high integrity would mean more success on field and that would attract players to be associated and have healthy and successful career.

Integrity is something that is constantly under scrutiny. From participants to spectators to sponsors everyone judges the sport on its integrity. Hence it can be stated that the only manner in which a sport can survive is by having a good reputation with regard to the integrity issues. Every sport should be the same outside as it should be in the internal side and maintain its values and principles.



Anderson, J. Match Fixing and EU Policy in 2014: An Introduction. SSRN Journal. doi:10.2139/ssrn.2449305

Anderson, J. Match Fixing and Money Laundering. SSRN Journal. doi:10.2139/ssrn.2424755

Arksey, N. (2000). Playing on the edge. London: Puffin.

Bernasconi, M., & Rigozzi, A. (2009). Sport governance, football disputes, doping and CAS arbitration. Berne: Editions Weblaw.

Ćorluka, M., Gabrilo, G., & BlazÌŒević, M. Doping factors, knowledge and attitudes among Bosnian and Herzegovinian football players =.

Duval, A. (2014). Cocaine, doping and the court of arbitration for sport. The International Sports Law Journal. doi:10.1007/s40318-014-0063-3

Ekblom, B. (1994). Football (soccer). Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Publications.

Ekblom, B. (1994). Soccer. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Publications.

Gardiner, S. (2006). Sports law. London: Cavendish Pub.

Gibbons, T., & Nuttall, D. (2014). ‘True fan = watch match’? In search of the ‘Authentic’ soccer fan.Soccer & Society, 1-13. doi:10.1080/14660970.2014.980735

Hudson, D. (2009). Combat sports. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press.

Lewis, A., & Taylor, J. (2008). Sport. Haywards Heath, West Sussex: Tottel.

Malcolm, D., & Waddington, I. (2008). ‘No systematic doping in football’: A critical review. Soccer & Society, 9(2), 198-214. doi:10.1080/14660970701811065

Mangan, M. (2009). The Court of Arbitration for Sport: Current Practice, Emerging Trends and Future Hurdles. Arbitration International, 25(4), 591-602. doi:10.1093/arbitration/25.4.591

Mavromati, D. National Disputes Before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). SSRN Journal. doi:10.2139/ssrn.2573335

Morrow, S. (1999). The new business of football. Basingstoke: Macmillan Business.

Nafziger, J., & Ross, S. (2011). Handbook on international sports law. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.

Parrish, R. (2003). Sports law and policy in the European Union. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press.

Reilly, L. (2012). Introduction to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) & the Role of National Courts in International Sports Disputes, An Symposium. Journal Of Dispute Settlement, (1), 63-81.

Rigozzi, A. (2010). Challenging Awards of the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Journal Of International Dispute Settlement, 1(1), 217-265. doi:10.1093/jnlids/idp010

Soccer & Society. (2010). Soccer & Society, 11(6), ebi-ebi. doi:10.1080/14660970.2010.530059

Sporis, G. (2013). Relationship between Functional Capacities and Performance Parameters in Soccer.Journal Of Sports Medicine & Doping Studies. doi:10.4172/2161-0673.s2-001


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