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ASSESSMENT OF THE PERCEIVED IMPACT OF CORRUPT PRACTICES ON SPORTS DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA
1.1 Background to the study
There has been a debate as to why sports has become such a lucrative global industry in sports management literature, it is the ―uncertainty of sports that gives its unpredictable joy and their characteristics intensity‖ it is this uncertainty and unpredictability that make sports such an exciting opportunity for businesses around the world to take advantage (Manson, 1999). But what happens if this uncertainty and unpredictability is taken away? In recent years there have been an increase in the number of reports detailing ‗corrupt behavior by individuals at all levels of sports and those associated with it both on and off the field of play, in the pursuit of financial success usually reserved for those who are winning global championships (Chadwick & Gorse 2013).
Corruption is recognized to be one of the world‘s greatest challenge, and a major hindrance to sustainable development, with a disproportionate impact on poor communities and is corrosive on every fabric of society.Corruption involves a deliberate use of one‘s position to get illegitimate benefits and undue advantage which could be financial or in other forms (Amuwo 2005, Obayelu, 2007, Heeks, 1998, Khan, 1999). It is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon with multiple causes and effects, as it takes on various forms and functions in different context (United Nation Committee against Corruption (UNCAC 2013).
Corruption has become an issue of major political and economic significance, and this has led to a resurgence of interest in analyzing the phenomenon and the diverse forms that it assumes in developing countries, with an expectation that democratization and economic liberalization offer potential routes to dealing with the problem. An Anti‐corruption strategy ranges from institutional reforms through concerted efforts at the international level. The efficacy of these approaches has not
been subjected to careful empirical research. The study of corruption has been ―multi-disciplinary‖ and dispersed, ranging from universal theoretical modeling to detailed descriptions of single corruption scandal. It has been studied as a problem of political, economic, cultural or moral under-development. The complex nature of corruption has made most observers agree that it pervades many societies and that there are no quick-fix solutions to it (UNCAC, 2013).
Corruption in sports involves any illegal, immoral or unethical activity that attempts to deliberately distort the result of a Sports contest for the personal material gain of one or more parties involved in that activity( Chadwick& Gorse, 2010). Organization of large-scale events (such as Sports) involves complex logistics, tight timeframes and substantial public funds, these therefore present opportunities and risk of corruption, since whenever there is money, competition or power involved, corruption is a constant threat, as the organizational structure may not support practices that would be considered accountable and transparent (Maening,2005). In many instances, excessive responsibility, power and money have been given to individuals, whose main credentials may be their status as former athletes or club leader (Audu, 2009).
Although corruption in sports is not a new phenomenon; at the Olympic Games in 388BC Eupolos of Thessalia bribed three of the competitors in a fighting tournament allowing him to win the gold medal (Maening, 2005). However, in recent times Sports have suffered from a dramatic growth in reports of corruption, from bribery to plain cheating (Chadwick & Gorse, 2013). Notable cases in the modern era of sports include the fixing of 1991 World Series by members of Chicago White Sox who took bribe from gamblers; Ben Jonson‘s infamous failed drugs test in 1980s(Maening, 2005). The most recent of all corruption scandal is the one that erupted among the FIFA executive in which the president and other members were suspended. While in Nigeria the officials of Nigeria Football Federation were indicted for corruption during the world cup in
Brazil.Corruption in sports centers around match fixing or gambling, biased refereeing; and to a similar but different degree the use of performance enhancing drugs. This definition seeks to take into account the role of athletes and officials who manipulate sports contest (Atuono, 2011). According to Transparency International – Czech Republic (T I CR) (2008) the first step to preventing something is to understand what it is and how it happens. There are so many different aspects to sports corruption that it is difficult to provide a short and comprehensive definition. Chappelet, (2012) noted that although the Federal Council‘s report does not explicitly mention the two categories, it divides sports corruption into two main types: corruption on the field of play and corruption off the field of play. These two categories of corruption in sports have been referred by Chadwick and Gorse, (2013) as competition and management corruption, these include the rigging of sports s event, bidding procedures or elections to important positions in federations, the payment of kickbacks for the construction of sports facilities or the signing of sponsorship and broadcasting contracts, and the manipulation of competitions or match fixing, whether or not related to betting.
Across the sports sector, most deals and decisions take place behind closed doors, allowing corruption to go unchecked and unpunished, thus the actual extent of corruption in sports is greater than reported. This assumption according to him, would seem reasonable particularly because those continents or sub-continents that are regarded in the discussion as the highly corrupt, such as, Africa, South America and Asia, hardly appear in reports on corruption in Sports this has serious consequences on the continent sports development (Chadwick, 2013).
Sports development means progressive change in the quality and quantity of manpower that can effectively conduct the management of affairs in Sports organizations, sports federations and associations, construction, expansion and maintenance of standard Sports facilities and provision of equipment for all games, well organized Sports competitions, where rules, regulations and standards
are maintained to enhance high performance by both athletes and officiating officials, and an encouraging public private partnership in the promotion, sponsor and ownership of sports s clubs. Sports stand as important societal institution and consider as important in relaying of ideals, norm and values on those who participate or spectate, the concept of fair play is always mention here and referred to athlete competing in an honest manner, not seeking to break rules and win by unfair practice. A lack of integrity in the sports industry may endanger sport‘s most essential elements and core values: fair play, ethics, mutual respect and trust in the rules of the game (Atuona, 2012).
Jovanka (2013) noted that corruption, affect sports development in terms of infrastructure, sports s organization, administrative efficiency and national image, it also affects equitable allocation of resources among the Sports federations and associations, increasing inequalities, and undermining their effectiveness, efficiency and achievement. This, in turn, may undermine long-term sustainable Sports development. Similarly, Maleeva (2013) said that the beautiful games that attract fans over the world have in the recent past seen players and top officials involved in anti-social activities that have made Sports more like a film than an actual game. Sports fans around the world have been left disappointed by the recent doping, match fixing and corruption that have been rampant in many games.
Report of the key sectors assessment of corruption in UK conducted, by Transparency International UK (TIUK), (2011) revealed that ―Of all the areas studied ,―none was more challenging (and perhaps none more controversial) than sports. Sports corruptions have a profound impact in terms of culture and public trust. Sports stars are role models in a manner unlike other public figures such as politicians. For a leading sports figure to be accused of corruption creates a ripple effect that can last for decades. To this day, for example, Ben Johnson still stands as a symbol for the illicit use of performance-enhancing drugs in athletics. It is little surprise, therefore, that Sports is seen by the
UK public as the second most corrupt sector in the country‖ (TIUK, 2011).
Sports corruption is a worldwide threat to the integrity of Sports, creating significant challenges for sports management scholars and practitioners. The sports industry have experienced multiple forms of corruption (e.g., fraud, bribery) that has ranged in extent (e.g., individual to systematic), occurred in varying contexts, (Sports, governance, online betting), and resulted in a multitude of consequences (financial costs, diminished reputations). The complexity and multidimensional nature of corruption has been discussed in various literatures. Whilst this body of work have provided a sound starting point in the scholarly premise, corruption in the Sports industry have been largely under-explored, global sports industry provides a rich context to substantially contribute to the scholarly discussion about corruption in terms of its conceptualization, causes, consequences, and reforms (Lisa, Terry, James and Stephen, 2015). The need to build on the existing corruption research and increase our understanding of the complexity and multidimensional nature of corruption, within the context of sports development in Nigeria Therefore, underscores the importance of this research field Impact of Corrupt Practices on Sports Development.
1.2 Statement of Problem
In her early good days Nigeria was regarded as the giant of Africa, because the country was leading the African nations in terms of development in many areas of human endeavor. With vast land, large population and abundant natural resources, the future of the country seemed promising. Nigeria was at the forefront of sports development, and the country had achieved greater successes in many sports and games such as football, basketball, and Athletics to mention but a few. Governments at all levels have made several efforts, toward ensuring effective and efficient sports development by expending substantial part of their annual budget. In order to actualized the mission of the National Sports Policy of Nigeria, 2009. ―Which isto, “develop the Sports sector to a
world class level where it would provide continuous improvement of quality of life for the entire citizenry, to the extent that Nigeria would be recognized as one of the leading sporting countries in the world (Federal Government of Nigeria, 2009).
Despite these successes of yesteryears and those of recent times, Nigeria is at the verge of being extinct in the sports world as some of the sports that saw the country emerged as a force to be reckoned with in the past are now threatened and on the verge of extinction ( Idris, 2014). Nigeria, a giant of Africa, was at the bottom of medal table in the just concluded Olympic Games in Brazil having only worn one bronze medal in football. Whereas less fancied Sports nations such as Uganda, Gabon, Botswana, Grenada, India, Dominican Republic, South Africa and Afghanistan were on the medal table at the end of the biggest sports event in the world. Nigeria has continued to slide both in global and local rating in stature to such a point that everybody is ostensibly confused about the way round the problem. Why have things suddenly gone awry, when the whole world was looking up to Nigeria for quality performance in Sports? It looks as if nobody has any answer to the sad development. Even the government has continued to experiment with different ideas to arrest the unfortunate development ( Idris 2014).
In an attempt to expedite sports development the Federal Government of Nigeria (2000) issued out guideline for the implementation of sports development policy which provides detailed alternative ways of solving the envisage and existing problems that imped Sports development in the country. The policy clearly defined the roles of each level of government and private corporations, as well as all necessary favorable conditions for sports development in terms of manpower training and development, facilities/ equipment and funding of sports competitions. While these were assumed to be basic requirements; corruption was never seen as a threat to sports development. The policy emphasized that, sports administrators; coaches, and referees are to observe all applicable
laws and regulations governing sports (Federal Government of Nigeria, 1998). Unfortunately these sections of the policy have not received the light of the day. According to Idris (2014) ‗the laws have seriously been broken as a result of which corruption is now a major impediment to sports development in Nigeria;
Today there is growing concerned and attempts by individuals who are asking why despite the amount of money claimed to have been expended on sports by government at all levels in Nigeria, sports continues to suffer from too many structural and managerial problems, remaining to a large extent in the hands of quacks and nonprofessionals, who are more interested in their personal gains than sports development. The researcher observed with interest thatdespite the recent global concerns on the impact of corrupt practices such as embezzlement ,bribery, nepotism, match fixing, doping, and host of other and the emergence of several reforms directed at addressing the problems of corrupt practices in international Sports, study on corruption in sports have been under explored, and the extent of known cases in Nigeria merely represent the tip of the iceberg (Idris, 2014).The researcher observed that in the past several research studies have been conducted on the constraint to sports development in Nigeria, while very little have been mention about corruption in sports, it seemed that the previous research findings and the recommendations there after did not address the problems to any significant level.
Several questions therefore remain unanswered. Why are sports facilities in most of the States in poor conditions and mostly sub- standard? Why are the numbers of professional sports personnel declining in the states sports councils in Nigeria, creating acute shortage of athletes? Why are sports associations‘ not organizing competitions for their respective Sports and games for long
and where they do the standard is very low? the integrity of referees and sports official, have always been put to question due to poor officiating, and there is a looming crisis among Sports associations, all these have serious effect on the performance of our athletes at the national and international competitions. The researcher therefore is interested in the assessment of the perceived impact of corrupt practices on sports development in Nigeria.
It is in the opinion of the researcher that, government through the anti-corruption agencies, is more pre-occupied with the corruption practices that has pervert the non-Sports sectors in Nigerian, and the existing anti-corruption measures (Economic and Financial Crime Commission(EFCC), Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission(ICPC) and Code of conduct be rue ), are inefficient to address the issue of corrupt practices in sports, at both national and State levels, this has resulted in a greater susceptibility to corruption, among organizations and the stakeholders in the States sports councils. The memories of media reports on the recent corruption scandal involving the official of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) after the last world cup in Brazil 2014 is very fresh; this episode suggests that various forms of corrupt practices in sports are perpetuated in the State Sports councils. According Chiagozie (2012) corruption in Sports in Nigeria is not just in the financial aspect, it is even in the selection of players. This research was conducted to determine how Nigeria perceived the impact of corrupt practices on sports development, with the view to recommend the best possible way of at least reducing its impact to the barest minimum.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to;
determine whether corruption practices are perceived to have any impact on the performance
of staff of State sports council in Nigeria.
determine whether corruption practices are perceived to have any impact on sports
facilities/equipment in State sports council in Nigeria.
- determine whether corruption practices are perceived to have any impact on functions of the sports Associations, in State sports council in Nigeria
- determine whether corruption practices are perceived to have any impact on sports officiating in the State sports council in Nigeria.
- determine whether corruption practices are perceived to have any impact on the organization of sports competitions in State sports council in Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were generated to guide this study;
- Does the technical and administrative staff differ in their perceived impact of corrupt practices on the personnel staff of the states‘ sports councils in Nigeria?
- Does the technical and administrative staff differ in their perceived impact of corrupt practices on the sports facilities/equipment of the states‘ sports councils in Nigeria?
- Does the technical and administrative staff differ in their perceived impact of corrupt practices on the sports associations in the states sports councils in Nigeria?
- Does the technical and administrative staff differ in their perceived impact of corrupt
practices on sports competitions in the states sports councils in Nigeria?
- Does the technical and administrative staff differ in their perceived impact of corrupt
practices on sports officiating in the states sports councils in Nigeria?
There is no significant difference between the Technical and Administrative staff in their perceived impact of corrupt practices on Sports Development in the States Sports council in Nigeria.
- There is no significant difference between the technical and administrative staff in their perceived impact of corrupt practices on personnel of the States Sports Councilsin Nigeria
- There is no significant difference between the technical and administrative staff in their perceived impact of corrupt practices on the sports facilities/equipment in the States Sports Councils in Nigeria
- There is no significant difference between the technical and administrative staff in their perceived impact of corrupt practices on the sports associations in the States Sports Councils in Nigeria
- There is no significant difference between the technical and administrative staff in their perceived impact of corrupt practices on sports competitions in the States Sports Councils in Nigeria
- There is no significant difference between the technical and administrative staff in their perceived impact of corrupt practices on sports officiating in the States Sports Councils in Nigeria.
1.6 Basic Assumptions
The following basic assumptions are made in order to achieve the purpose of this study.
- Corrupt practices has negative impact on the personnel of States Sports Councils Nigeria
- Corrupt practices has negative impact on sports facilities/equipment in States Sports Councils in Nigeria,
- Corrupt practices has negative impact on the sport associations, in States Sports Councils in Nigeria
- Corrupt practices has negative impact on organization of sports competitions in States Sports Councils in Nigeria
- Corrupt practices has negative impact on sports officiating, in States Sports Councils in Nigeria
1.7 Significance of the Study
This study is significant on the following basis.
- The result of this study may help to reveal how corrupt practices are perceived to have affected sports development in the States Sports Councils in Nigeria.
- This study may opening another challenging chapters for further research studies, in different
environment such as institutional, private sectors sports organizations and sponsorship, advertisement and broadcasting right.
- The result of this study may help to suggest the best possible ways of tackling the menace of corrupt practices in the sports so as to find a long lasting solution to constraint to sport development in Nigeria.
- The study may serve as a guide to the anticorruption agencies, who may want to use the recommendations in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
- The study may contribute to existing body of knowledge. Since the methods and procedures used may be adopted for further research study in other areas of human endeavor.
This study was delimited to:
- The perception of Technical staff (Coaches and athletes) and Administrative staff (organizing secretaries and management staff) in the States Sports Councils in Nigeria
- In view of the fact that there are so many forms of corrupt practices the study would be delimited to only Nepotism, Bribery and Embezzlement of fund as the major corrupt practices that affects the following variables
- Personnel of the staff of the state sports councils
- Sports facilities/equipment,
- Sports Associations,
- Organization, of Sports competitions
- Sports officiating,
1.9 Limitations of the study
In the course of this research work the researcher faced the following constraints;
- Reliance on most literature that were based on the opinions of the writers rather, rather than those whose result was empirically tested due to inadequate research work in this area.
- There was a dearth of information written by Nigerian authors and sports management scholars on corrupt practices and sport. Therefore the researcher also relied more on foreign related literature, and to some extent the attitude of the respondents in handling the questionnaire.
- Although confidentiality was assured and questionnaire was structured, since the researcher have no control over the feeling of the respondents in filling of the questionnaires. It is difficult to determine whether the respondent have accurately conveyed their feelings while completing the questionnaire