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Corruption in Sport

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The Case of Lebanon

image of Middle East Law and Governance

Corruption in sport may have different forms: bribes to International Olympic Committee officials, gambling scandals in football games, doping… But these scourges are not only related to bribery in winning a bid to organize an international sport event or to an athlete cheating, they are also very present in the policy of the government in this field. In fact, the economic, social and political growth of sport in the end of the 20th century has put this sector on the national agendas. Today, sport policy is subject to a structure mechanism and a financing system defined and implemented by the government. Therefore, if a country has a public sector tainted with corruption, it is very likely to affect the whole government apparatus, including the sport sector. When it comes to the public sector, corruption is mainly found in the bribery of officials, kickbacks in procurement and embezzlement of funds.This article examines corruption in the Lebanese sport system. It argues that the latter is highly influenced by the state’s multiconfessional political system. This system, which is officially based on a communitarian balance that is difficult to reach, is transformed in reality into a struggle for overrepresentation, even in the field of sport. As the main goal for the different religious groups is to lead the political scene, this often implies corruptive and nepotistic behavior.

Affiliations: 1: Notre-Dame University, Lebanon1,


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