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The Influx of Money to Sport

By ME/ Portal da Copa/ Março de 2013 -, CC BY 3.0 br,

Illegal betting, doping or corruption are not new phenomena in the world of sport. Today, almost all sporting disciplines are suspected of dubious practices. Obviously, it mainly affects "the wealthy sports" which provide multi-billion dollar revenues. But not only. The most spectacular aspect of this serious issue can be related with the organisation of the most prestigious sport events: the World Football Cup and the Olympic Games. FIFA is the focus of numerous investigations including the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup. The entity which supervises the world football is powerful and opaque. But it must be acknowledged that the FIFA's business model shows an exceptional profitability. In short, it retains a substantial proportion of the revenues from marketing and broadcast rights -an estimated US$ 2 billion profit from the world Cup in Brazil in 2014- but requires all infrastructure costs to be assumed by the host countries. The IOC always find strong supporters who claim that hosting the Olympic Games is a unique opportunity to develop local and national infrastructure (stadiums, public transport etc..) Recent datas showed that this entity receives more than 70% of Olympic television revenue compared with less than 4% between 1960-1980 (The Economist). Of course,the cost of infrastructures will be borne by the host country. We should remember that Athens Summer Olympics in 2004 caused an estimated loss of US$ 14 billion for Greece. The recurrent problem with these major sport events is that host countries and cities often build oversized infrastructure which for decades remain a burden on state's budgets. In the end, all these (bad) practices call into question the ethics of sport. "Money is not the root of all evil in sport. The devil enters when you decide that money is more important that anything else.(Simon Barnes-The Spectator).

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