|French: Fédération Internationale de Football Association|
Map of the members of FIFA according to their confederation
|Motto||For the Game. For the World.|
|Formation||21 May 1904|
|Type||Federation of national associations|
|209 national associations|
Ali Bin Al-Hussein
|Affiliations||International Olympic Committee|
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA //; English: International Federation of Association Football) is the governing body of association football, futsal and beach football. FIFA is responsible for the organisation of football's major international tournaments, notably the World Cup which commenced in 1930 and the Women's World Cup which commenced in 1991.
FIFA was founded in 1904 to oversee international competition among the national associations of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Headquartered in Zürich, its membership now comprises 209 national associations. Member countries must each also be members of one of the six regional confederations into which the world is divided: Africa, Asia, Europe, North & Central America and the Caribbean, Oceania and South America.
Although FIFA does not control the rules of football (that being the responsibility of the International Football Association Board), it is responsible for both the organization of a number of tournaments and their promotion, which generate revenue from sponsorship. In 2013 FIFA had revenues of over 1.3 billion U.S. dollars, for a net profit of 72 million, and had cash reserves of over 1.4 billion U.S. dollars.
Reports by investigative journalists have linked FIFA leadership with corruption, bribery, and alleged vote-rigging pursuant to the election of FIFA President Sepp Blatter and the organization's decision to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar, respectively. These allegations led to the indictments of nine high-ranking FIFA officials and five corporate executives by the U.S. Department of Justice on charges including racketeering, wire fraud, and money laundering. On 27 May 2015 several of these officials were arrested by Swiss authorities, who were launching a simultaneous but separate criminal investigation into how the organization awarded the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Those among these officials who were also indicted in the U.S. are expected to be extradited to face charges there as well.
- 1 History
- 2 Structure
- 3 Recognitions and awards
- 4 Governance and game development
- 5 Anthem
- 6 Sponsors
- 7 Corruption and legislative interference
- 8 Video replay
- 9 FIFA structured tournaments
- 10 References
- 11 Further reading
- 12 External links
The need for a single body to oversee association football became apparent at the beginning of the 20th century with the increasing popularity of international fixtures. The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was founded in the rear of the headquarters of the Union des Sociétés Françaises de Sports Athlétiques at the Rue Saint Honoré 229 in Paris on 21 May 1904. The French name and acronym are used even outside French-speaking countries. The founding members were the national associations of Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Spain (represented by Madrid Football Club; the Spanish federation was not created until 1913), Sweden and Switzerland. Also, that same day, the German Association declared its intention of affiliating through a telegram.
The first president of FIFA was Robert Guérin. Guérin was replaced in 1906 by Daniel Burley Woolfall from England, by then a member of the association. The first tournament FIFA staged, the association football competition for the 1908 Olympics in London was more successful than its Olympic predecessors, despite the presence of professional footballers, contrary to the founding principles of FIFA.[dubious ]
During World War I, with many players sent off to war and the possibility of travel for international fixtures severely limited, the organisation's survival was in doubt. Post-war, following the death of Woolfall, the organisation was run by Dutchman Carl Hirschmann. It was saved from extinction, but at the cost of the withdrawal of the Home Nations (of the United Kingdom), who cited an unwillingness to participate in international competitions with their recent World War enemies. The Home Nations later resumed their membership.
Laws and governance
FIFA's supreme body is the FIFA Congress, an assembly made up of representatives from each affiliated member association. Each national football association has one vote, regardless of its size or footballing strength. The Congress assembles in ordinary session once every year, and extraordinary sessions have been held once a year since 1998. The congress makes decisions relating to FIFA's governing statutes and their method of implementation and application. Only the Congress can pass changes to FIFA's statutes. The congress approves the annual report, and decides on the acceptance of new national associations and holds elections. Congress elects the President of FIFA, its General Secretary, and the other members of FIFA's Executive Committee on the year following the FIFA World Cup.
FIFA's Executive Committee, chaired by the President, is the main decision-making body of the organisation in the intervals of Congress. The Executive Committee is composed of 24 people: the President, 8 Vice Presidents, and 15 members. The Executive Committee is the body that decides which country will host the World Cup.
The President and General Secretary are the main officeholders of FIFA, and are in charge of its daily administration, carried out by the General Secretariat, with its staff of approximately 280 members. Sepp Blatter has been FIFA President since 1998. FIFA's worldwide organisational structure also consists of several other bodies, under authority of the Executive Committee or created by Congress as standing committees. Among those bodies are the Finance Committee, the Disciplinary Committee, and the Referees Committee.
FIFA publishes its results according to IFRS. The total compensation for the management committee in 2011 was 30 million for 35 people. Blatter, the only full-time person on the committee, earns approximately two million Swiss francs, 1.2 million in salary and the rest in bonuses. A report in London's Sunday Times in June 2014 said the members of the committee had their salaries doubled from $100,000 to $200,000 during the year. The report also said leaked documents had indicated $4.4 million in secret bonuses had been paid to the committee members following the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
Six confederations and 209 national associations
Besides its worldwide institutions there are six confederations recognised by FIFA which oversee the game in the different continents and regions of the world. National associations, and not the continental confederations, are members of FIFA. The continental confederations are provided for in FIFA's statutes, and membership of a confederation is a prerequisite to FIFA membership.
- Asian Football Confederation (AFC; 46 members)
- Australia has been a member of the AFC since 2006
- Confederation of African Football (CAF; 54 members)
- Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF; 41 members)
- Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol (CONMEBOL; 10 members)
- Oceania Football Confederation (OFC; 11 members)
- Union of European Football Associations (UEFA; 53 members)
- Teams representing the nations of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Israel, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkey are UEFA members, although the majority or entirety of their territory is outside of continental Europe. Monaco and the Vatican City are not members of UEFA or FIFA, while Gibraltar is only a member of UEFA.
In total, FIFA recognises 209 national associations and their associated men's national teams as well as 129 women's national teams; see the list of national football teams and their respective country codes. FIFA has more member states than the UN as FIFA recognises 23 non-sovereign entities as distinct nations, such as the four Home Nations within the United Kingdom and politically disputed territories such as Palestine.
The FIFA Working Committee on Small Nations has categorized potential FIFA members into three categories:
- Independent states not in FIFA (Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Monaco, Niue, Palau, Tuvalu)
- Non-independent territories (Guadeloupe, Greenland, Isle of Man, Jersey, Martinique, Northern Mariana Islands, Réunion, Sint Maarten, Zanzibar)
- Politically sensitive areas (Abkhazia, Crimea, Gibraltar, Kosovo, Northern Cyprus, South Ossetia).
The FIFA World Rankings are updated monthly and rank each team based on their performance in international competitions, qualifiers, and friendly matches. There is also a world ranking for women's football, updated four times a year.
Recognitions and awards
FIFA awards, each year, the title of FIFA Ballon d'Or to the top men's and women's players of the year, as part of its annual awards ceremony which also recognises team and international association football achievements. Until 2009, they awarded the FIFA Player of the Year to the best player, until it and the Ballon d'Or ceased to be awarded. At the Ballon d'Or banquet, the FIFA Puskás Award, the FIFA/FIFPro Best XI, FIFA Fair Play Award, and the FIFA Presidential Award are also awarded.
In 1994 FIFA published the FIFA World Cup All-Time Team. In 2000 FIFA published the results of an Internet poll, declaring Real Madrid to be the FIFA Club of the Century. In 2002 FIFA announced the FIFA Dream Team, an all-time all-star team chosen by fans in a poll.
Governance and game development
The laws that govern football, known officially as the Laws of the Game, are not solely the responsibility of FIFA; they are maintained by a body called the International Football Association Board (IFAB). FIFA has members on its board (four representatives); the other four are provided by the football associations of the United Kingdom: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, who jointly established IFAB in 1882 and are recognised for the creation and history of the game. Changes to the Laws of the Game must be agreed by at least six of the eight delegates.
FIFA commits itself to constantly improving the sport of football. The FIFA Statutes form the overarching document guiding FIFA's governing system. The governing system is divided into separate bodies that have the appropriate powers to create a system of checks and balances. It consists of four general bodies: the congress, the executive committee, the general secretariat, and standing and ad-hoc committees.
Discipline of national associations
FIFA frequently takes active roles in the running of the sport and developing the game around the world. One of its sanctions is to suspend teams and associated members from international competition when a government interferes in the running of FIFA's associate member organisations or if the associate is not functioning properly.
A 2007 FIFA ruling that a player can be registered with a maximum of three clubs, and appear in official matches for a maximum of two, in a year measured from 1 July to 30 June has led to controversy, especially in those countries whose seasons cross that date barrier, as in the case of two former Ireland internationals. As a direct result of this controversy, FIFA modified this ruling the following year to accommodate transfers between leagues with out-of-phase seasons.
Since the 1994 FIFA World Cup, like the UEFA Champions League, FIFA has adopted an anthem composed by the German composer Franz Lambert. It has been recently re-arranged and produced by Rob May and Simon Hill. The FIFA Anthem is played at the beginning of official FIFA sanctioned matches and tournaments such as international friendlies, the FIFA World Cup, FIFA Women's World Cup, FIFA U-20 World Cup, FIFA U-17 World Cup, Football at the Summer Olympics, FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, FIFA Women's U-17 World Cup, FIFA Futsal World Cup, FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.
Since 2007, FIFA has also required most of its broadcast partners to use short sequences including the anthem at the beginning and end of FIFA event coverage, as well as for break bumpers, to help promote FIFA's sponsors. This emulates practices long used by some other international football events such as the UEFA Champions League. Exceptions may be made for specific events; for example, an original piece of African music was used for bumpers during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Corruption and legislative interference
In May 2006 British investigative reporter Andrew Jennings' book Foul! The Secret World of FIFA: Bribes, Vote-Rigging and Ticket Scandals (Harper Collins) caused controversy within the football world by detailing an alleged international cash-for-contracts scandal following the collapse of FIFA's marketing partner International Sport and Leisure (ISL), and revealed how some football officials have been urged to secretly repay the sweeteners they received. The book also alleged that vote-rigging had occurred in the fight for Sepp Blatter's continued control of FIFA.
Shortly after the release of Foul! a BBC television exposé by Jennings and BBC producer Roger Corke for the BBC news programme Panorama was broadcast. In this hour-long programme, screened on 11 June 2006, Jennings and the Panorama team agree that Sepp Blatter was being investigated by Swiss police over his role in a secret deal to repay more than £1m worth of bribes pocketed by football officials. Lord Triesman, the former chairman of the English Football Association, described FIFA as an organization that "behaves like a mafia family", highlighting the association's "decades-long traditions of bribes, bungs and corruption".
All testimonies offered in the Panorama exposé were provided through a disguised voice, appearance, or both, save one; Mel Brennan, formerly a lecturer at Towson University in the United States (and from 2001 to 2003 Head of Special Projects for CONCACAF, a liaison to the e-FIFA project and a 2002 FIFA World Cup delegate), became the first high-level football insider to go public with substantial allegations of greed, corruption, nonfeasance and malfeasance by CONCACAF and FIFA leadership. During the Panorama exposé, Brennan—the highest-level African-American in the history of world football governance—joined Jennings, Trinidadian journalist Lisana Liburd and many others in exposing allegedly inappropriate allocations of money at CONCACAF, and drew connections between ostensible CONCACAF criminality and similar behaviours at FIFA. Since then, and in the light of fresh allegations of bribery and corruption and opaque action by FIFA in late 2010, both Jennings and Brennan remain highly critical of FIFA, with Brennan calling directly for an alternative to FIFA to be considered by the stakeholders of the sport throughout the world.
In a further Panorama documentary broadcast on BBC One on 29 November 2010, Jennings alleged that three senior FIFA officials, Nicolas Leoz, Issa Hayatou and Ricardo Teixeira, had been paid huge bribes by FIFA's marketing partner ISL between 1989 and 1999, which FIFA had failed to investigate. He claimed they appeared on a list of 175 bribes paid by ISL, totalling about $100 million. A former ISL executive said that there were suspicions within ISL that the company was only awarded the marketing contract for successive World Cups by paying bribes to FIFA officials. The programme also alleged that another current official, Jack Warner, has been repeatedly involved in reselling World Cup tickets to touts; Sepp Blatter said that FIFA had not investigated the allegation because it had not been told about it via 'official channels'.
The programme also criticized FIFA for allegedly requiring World Cup host bidding nations to agree to implement special laws for the World Cup, including blanket tax exemption for FIFA and sponsors, and limitation of workers' rights. It alleged that governments of bidding nations are required to keep the details of the required laws confidential during the bidding process; but that they were revealed by the Dutch government, which refused to agree to them, as a result of which it was told by FIFA that its bid could be adversely affected. According to the programme, following Jennings' earlier investigations he was banned from all FIFA press conferences, for reasons he says have not been made clear; and the accused officials failed to answer questions about his latest allegations, either verbally or by letter.
British Prime Minister David Cameron and Andy Anson, head of England's World Cup bid, criticized the timing of the broadcast, three days before FIFA's decision on the host for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, on the grounds that it might damage England's bid; the voters included officials accused by the programme.
In June 2011, it came to light that the IOC had started inquiry proceedings against FIFA honorary president João Havelange into claims of bribery. The BBC Panorama programme alleged that the Brazilian accepted a $1 million 'bung' in 1997 from ISL. The Olympic governing body said "the IOC takes all allegations of corruption very seriously and we would always ask for any evidence of wrongdoing involving any IOC members to be passed to our ethics commission".
In a 2014 interview, American sports writer Dave Zirin said greed, corruption, nonfeasance and malfeasance are endemic to FIFA leadership, and that FIFA should be abolished for the good of the game. He said that currently FIFA is in charge of both monitoring corruption in football matches, and marketing and selling the sport, but that two "separate" organizational bodies are needed: an organizational body that monitors corruption and match-fixing and the like, and an organization that's responsible for marketing and sponsorships and selling the sport. Zirin said the idea of having a single organization that's responsible for both seems highly ineffective and detrimental to the sport.
Between 2013 and 2015 four individuals, and two sports television rights corporations pleaded guilty to United States financial misconduct charges. The pleas of Chuck Blazer, José Hawilla, Daryan Warner, Darrell Warner, Traffic Group and Traffic Sports USA were unsealed in May 2015.
Indictments and arrests
Fourteen FIFA officials and marketing executives were indicted by the United States Department of Justice in May 2015. The officials were arrested in Switzerland and are in the process of extradition to the US. Specific charges (brought under the RICO act) include wire fraud, racketeering, and money laundering.
"Swiss authorities say they have also opened a separate criminal investigation into FIFA's operations pertaining to the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids".
FIFA’s top officials were arrested at a hotel in Switzerland on suspicion of receiving bribes totalling $100m (£65m). The US Department of Justice stated that nine Fifa officials and four executives of sports management companies were arrested and accused of over $150m in bribes. British Andy Burnham stated in May 2015 that England should boycott the 2018 World Cup against corruption in Fifa and military aggression by Russia.
2018 and 2022 World Cup bids
FIFA's choice to award the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 World Cup to Qatar has been widely criticised by media. It has been alleged that some FIFA inside sources insist that the Russian kickbacks of cash and gifts given to FIFA executive members were enough to secure the Russian 2018 bid weeks before the result was announced. Sepp Blatter was widely criticised in the media for giving a warning about the "evils of the media" in a speech to FIFA executive committee members shortly before they voted on the hosting of the 2018 World Cup, a reference to The Sunday Times exposés and the Panorama investigation.
Two members of FIFA's executive committee were banned from all football-related activity in November 2010 for allegedly offering to sell their votes to undercover newspaper reporters. In early May 2011, a British parliamentary inquiry into why England failed to secure the 2018 finals was told by member of parliament, Damian Collins, that there was evidence from the Sunday Times newspaper that Issa Hayatou of Cameroon and Jacques Anouma of Ivory Coast were paid by Qatar. Qatar has categorically denied the allegations, as have Hayatou and Anouma.
FIFA President Blatter said, as of 23 May 2011, that the British newspaper The Sunday Times has agreed to bring its whistle-blowing source to meet senior FIFA officials, who will decide whether to order a new investigation into alleged World Cup bidding corruption. "[The Sunday Times] are happy, they agreed that they will bring this whistleblower here to Zürich and then we will have a discussion, an investigation of this", Blatter said.
Specifically, the whistleblower claims that FIFA executive committee members Issa Hayatou and Jacques Anouma were paid $1.5 million to vote for Qatar. The emirate's bid beat the United States in a final round of voting last December. Blatter did not rule out reopening the 2022 vote if corruption could be proved, but urged taking the matter "step by step". The FIFA president said his organization is "anxiously awaiting" more evidence before asking its ethics committee to examine allegations made in Britain's parliament in early May 2011.
Hayatou, who is from Cameroon, leads the Confederation of African Football and is a FIFA vice president. Anouma is president of Ivorian Football Federation. The whistleblower said Qatar agreed to pay a third African voter, Amos Adamu, for his support. The Nigerian was later suspended from voting after a FIFA ethics court ruled he solicited bribes from undercover Sunday Times reporters posing as lobbyists. Blatter said the newspaper and its whistleblower would meet with FIFA secretary general, Jérôme Valcke, and legal director, Marco Villiger.
Allegations against FIFA officials have also been made to the UK Parliament by David Triesman, the former head of England's bid and the English Football Association. Triesman told the lawmakers that four long-standing FIFA executive committee members—Jack Warner, Nicolas Leoz, Ricardo Teixeira and Worawi Makudi—engaged in "improper and unethical" conduct in the 2018 bidding, which was won by Russia. All six FIFA voters have denied wrongdoing.
On 28 September 2015, Sepp Blatter suggested that the 2018 World Cup being awarded to Russia was planned before the voting, and that the 2022 World Cup would have then been awarded to USA. However, this plan changed after the election ballot, and the 2022 World Cup was awarded to Qatar instead of the USA.
2011 FIFA presidential election
FIFA announced on 25 May 2011 that it had opened the investigation to examine the conduct of four officials—Mohamed Bin Hammam and Jack Warner, along with Caribbean Football Union (CFU) officials Debbie Minguell and Jason Sylvester—in relation to claims made by executive committee member, Chuck Blazer. Blazer, who is the general secretary of the CONCACAF federation, has alleged that violations were committed under the FIFA code of ethics during a meeting organized by Bin Hammam and Warner on 10 and 11 May—the same time Lord Triesman had accused Warner of demanding money for a World Cup 2018 vote—in relation to the 2011 FIFA presidential election, in which Bin Hammam, who also played a key role in the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup bid, allegedly offered financial incentives for votes cast in his favour during the presidential election. As a result of the investigation both Bin Hammam and Warner were suspended. Warner reacted to his suspension by questioning Blatter's conduct and adding that FIFA secretary general, Jérôme Valcke, had told him via e-mail that Qatar had bought the 2022 World Cup. Valcke subsequently issued a statement denying he had suggested it was bribery, saying instead that the country had "used its financial muscle to lobby for support". Qatar officials denied any impropriety. Bin Hammam also responded by writing to FIFA, protesting unfair treatment in suspension by the FIFA Ethics Committee and FIFA administration.
Further evidence emerged of alleged corruption. On 30 May 2011, Fred Lunn, vice-president of the Bahamas Football Association, said that he was given $40,000 in cash as an incitement to vote for FIFA presidential candidate, Mohamed bin Hammam. In addition, on 11 June 2011 Louis Giskus, president of the Surinamese Football Association, alleged that he was given $40,000 in cash for "development projects" as an incentive to vote for Bin Hammam.
Response to allegations
After being re-elected as President of FIFA Sepp Blatter responded to the allegations by promising to reform FIFA in wake of the bribery scandal, with Danny Jordaan, CEO of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, saying there is great expectation for reform. Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is being tipped for a role on the newly proposed 'Solutions Committee', and former Netherlands national football team player Johan Cruyff is also being linked with a role.
UEFA secretary general Gianni Infantino said he hopes for "concrete" measures to be taken by the world game's authority. Saying that "the UEFA executive committee has taken note of the will of FIFA to take concrete and effective measures for good governance ... [and is] following the situation closely."
IOC president Jacques Rogge commented on the situation by saying that he believes FIFA "can emerge stronger" from its worst ever crisis, stating that "I will not point a finger and lecture ... I am sure FIFA can emerge stronger and from within".
Several of FIFA's partners and sponsors have raised concerns about the allegations of corruption, including Coca-Cola, Adidas, Emirates and Visa. Coca-Cola raised concerns by saying "the current allegations being raised are distressing and bad for the sport"; with Adidas saying "the negative tenor of the public debate around Fifa at the moment is neither good for football nor for Fifa and its partners"; moreover Emirates raised its concerns by saying "we hope that these issues will be resolved as soon as possible"; and Visa adding "the current situation is clearly not good for the game and we ask that Fifa take all necessary steps to resolve the concerns that have been raised."
Australian Sports Minister Mark Arbib said it was clear FIFA needed to change, saying "there is no doubt there needs to be reform of FIFA. This is something that we're hearing worldwide", with Australian Senator Nick Xenophon accusing FIFA of "scamming" the country out of the A$46 million (US$35 million) it spent on the Australia 2022 FIFA World Cup bid, saying that "until the investigation into FIFA has been completed, Australia must hold off spending any more taxpayers' money on any future World Cup bids."
Moreover, former Argentine football player Diego Maradona was critical of FIFA in light of the corruption scandal, comparing members of the board to dinosaurs. He said "Fifa is a big museum. They are dinosaurs who do not want to relinquish power. It's always going to be the same." In October 2011, Dick Pound criticized the organization, saying, "FIFA has fallen far short of a credible demonstration that it recognizes the many problems it faces, that it has the will to solve them, that it is willing to be transparent about what it is doing and what it finds, and that its conduct in the future will be such that the public can be confident in the governance of the sport."
FIFA does not permit video evidence during matches, although it is permitted for subsequent sanctions. The 1970 meeting of the International Football Association Board "agreed to request the television authorities to refrain from any slow-motion play-back which reflected, or might reflect, adversely on any decision of the referee". In 2008, FIFA President Sepp Blatter said: "Let it be as it is and let's leave [football] with errors. The television companies will have the right to say [the referee] was right or wrong, but still the referee makes the decision – a man, not a machine."
It has been said that instant replay is needed given the difficulty of tracking the activities of 22 players on such a large field, and it has been proposed that instant replay be used in penalty incidents, fouls which lead to bookings or red cards and whether the ball has crossed the goal line, since those events are more likely than others to be game-changing.
Critics point out that instant replay is already in use in other sports, including rugby union, cricket, American football, Canadian football, basketball, baseball, tennis, and ice hockey. As one notable proponent of video replay, Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz has been quoted as saying that the "credibility of the game" is at stake.
An incident during a second-round game in the 2010 FIFA World Cup between England and Germany, where a shot by Englishman Frank Lampard, which would have leveled the scores at 2–2 in a match that ultimately ended in a 4–1 German victory, crossed the line but was not seen to do so by the match officials, led FIFA officials to declare that they will re-examine the use of goal-line technology.
FIFA structured tournaments
Current title holders
|World Cup||Germany (2014)||United States (2015)|
|Confederations Cup||Brazil (2013)||—|
|Olympic Tournament||Mexico (2012)||United States (2012)|
|U-20 World Cup||Serbia (2015)||Germany (2014)|
|U-17 World Cup||Nigeria (2015)||Japan (2014)|
|Youth Olympic Tournament||Peru (2014)||China PR (2014)|
|Club World Cup||Real Madrid (2014)||—|
|Futsal World Cup||Brazil (2012)||—|
|Beach Soccer World Cup||Portugal (2015)||—|
|Blue Stars/FIFA Youth Cup||FC Luzern (2015)||—|
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to FIFA.|
- Official website (English) (French) (German) (Spanish) (Portuguese) (Arabic) (Russian) (Japanese)
- BBC's Panorama, Fifa's Dirty secrets, transcript
- Document on alleged FIFA corruption
- FIFA Laws of the Game