Hauser Colloquium: The Beautiful Game: Football, FIFA and the Governance of Transnational Sport

Professor J.H.H. Weiler

Spring 2023
Tuesday, 2:15–4:15 p.m.
Furman Hall, Room 318

2 Credits

Football (soccer) is by far the most popular sport worldwide.  It is also a multi-billion-dollar business of considerable political import.  In recent years, it has been shaken by scandal, both financial and political, prompting widespread calls for reform.  These events have drawn attention to the nature, complexities, and shortcomings of the governance of sport at the transnational level.

As one of the most significant examples of global governance beyond the classical intergovernmental model, sport governance raises unique issues of legality, legitimacy, democracy, transparency, and accountability.  The seminar will explore this model of transnational governance, and its various social, economic, political, and legal causes and consequences, through the study of FIFA and the global football system.  

Students will gain an understanding of current football governance controversies – from financial corruption to human rights violations – through an exploration of FIFA’s historical foundations, remarkable expansion, and contemporary status.  This will involve critical examination of FIFA’s internal structures and procedures as well as its relationship with other members of the “football family”, including regional confederations, national associations, leagues, clubs, athletes, and sponsors.  Particular attention will be given to accountability mechanisms (or the lack thereof) – both internal and external, judicial and non-judicial.  The aim is to illuminate the conceptual, legal, and practical challenges of, and ameliorative possibilities for, the transnational governance of football and of sport more broadly.


Guest Speaker schedule*:

March 21, 2023 - Lorenzo Casini, Tenured Professor of Administrative Law, IMT School of Advanced Studies in Lucca, and President, Italian Football League Serie A  Readings: What Future for Serie A? by Lorenzo Casini and Reforming Italian Soccer

March 28, 2023 - Michele Krech, Max Weber Postdoctoral Fellow, European University Institute (EUI)  Readings: The Regulation of Gender in Global Sport: Do Human Rights and Remedies Apply? - lecture readings and additional material (please read this first) and CAS Award in Semenya v IAAF (selections only described in other document)

April 4, 2023 - Petros C. Mavroidis, Edwin B. Parker Professor of Foreign & Comparative Law, Columbia Law School Readings: Opinion of Advocate General Rantos delivered on 15 December 2022 (Case C-12421) P - International Skating Union v. European Commission; Opinion of Advocate General Rantos delivered on 15 December 2022 (Case C-333/21) - European Super League Company SL v UEFA and FIFA; and Judgment of the General Court (Fourth Camber, Extended Composition) International Skating Union v. European Commission

April 11, 2023 - Dr. Arnout Geeraert, Assistant Professor, Utrecht University, Utrecht School of Governance  Readings: The EU Controls FIFA and UEFA: a principal-agent perspective by Arnout Geeraert & Edith Drieskens, and The dynamics of de-delegation: A principal-agent explanation of the reversal of private authority in international sport governance by Arnout Geeraert and Edith Drieskens

April 18, 2023 - Evan Norris, Partner, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP Readings: DOJ Press Release (9 March 2023): Former 21st Century Fox Executive and Argentina-Based Sports Marketing Company Full Play Group S.A., Convicted of Bribing Soccer Officials in FIFA Case; DOJ Press Release (27 May 2015): Nine FIFA Officials and Five Corporate Executives Indicted for Racketeering Conspiracy and Corruption; DOJ Press Release (3 December 2015): Sixteen Additional FIFA Officials Indicted for Racketeering Conspiracy and Corruption; and US v Napout (June 2020)



*Please e-mail if you would like to attend any of these sessions