Introduction: ethical concerns in sport governance

David Hassan, Souvik Naha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
34 Downloads (Pure)


Sport governance no longer stirs public opinion only when scandals surface; it has become a persistent concern for a number of stakeholders. A combination of the inexorable presence of the media, people’s scepticism of those who run their favourite sports, and vagaries of the moral economy of global sport capitalism since the late twentieth century has made governance a newsworthy, momentous and meaningful aspect of elite sports. The media has been attentive to the financial irregularities, the struggles for recognition, and the political and exploitative aspects of sport governance that have come to light rather frequently since the beginning of the twenty-first century. It has played a critical role in shaping sport governance too, especially after the advent of televised sport, sponsorship and marketing. Television forms the economic backbone of modern sport, and digital platforms are set to revolutionize sport coverage. Secondly, sport followers, who double as consumers of media content, understand the challenges of governing what has transformed in the twentieth century from local leisure cultures to highly capitalized industries with a global reach. Depending on their level of interest, they track governance of local clubs, national teams, international federations and similar entities. They are usually aware of the structures of power and ownership, policy-making at various levels, and violation of accountability. Finally, sport administrators, who are drawn from state representatives and the commercial elite operating in both national and transnational contexts, are obliged to run the show, maximize profit and connect with supporters. With the exception of the Middle Eastern monarchies and a few other authoritarian states, sport administrators often subject themselves to self-regulatory measures in order to be legitimized as custodians of the game. Ethical practice is probably one of the most important catechism they encounter at a quotidian level, as transparency and incorruptibility are widely considered necessary attributes of sport governance. The media and sport followers are no exception to the rule of ethics as stakeholders of governance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)721-723
Number of pages3
JournalSport in Society
Early online date15 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished online - 15 Nov 2017


  • Governance
  • Sport
  • Ethics
  • Football


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