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

Professor J.H.H. Weiler

Fall 2021
Monday, 2:10 - 4:10 pm
Vanderbilt Hall, Room 208

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 to be determined*


*Please email if you would like to attend any of these sessions.