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Opinion Column - 06/02/2013

The IOC and FIFA have the power and the leverage to make the Olympic Games and the World Cup more ‘socially responsible’

It is (unfortunately) a recurring phenomenon: every time a new country is assigned for the organization of a major sports event (Olympics, Football World Cups), serious questions are raised about the way the games are assigned and voices are raised about the ‘inappropriate ‘influence of the decision makers.

These allegations are a serious blow for the image and reputation of these international sports federations.

Even more worrying is the fact that fundamental human rights, fair labour practices and the impact on the local communities that such mega-events entail do not seem to be given the priority they deserve in the allocation of the Olympic Games and the World Cup to the candidate countries. The Olympic Games in China (2008), were supposed to lead to a “positive change” and more attention to human rights and individual freedoms. 5 years later, these claims can now be seriously questioned. Earlier this year Brazil (World Cup 2014 and Olympics 2016) was confronted with social protests and public discontent. Favelas were ‘cleaned up’, with security forces using disproportionate violence. The discontent among the Brazilian population grew because of the deficient infrastructure of schools and hospitals, while billions are being invested in new sports infrastructure. Recently, the Brazilian Labour Ministry denounced that the World Cup airport expansion is confronted with workers in ‘slavelike’ conditions.

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Keywords : Business Behavior, Community Involvement, Environment, ESG, Human Rights, Rating, World