World’s worst sports governing body


I have in mind a post about various governing bodies of world sport, comparing them to see which is the worst. Every time I sit down to write it, another governing body makes a spectacular arse of itself in some way and puts me back to square one.

The obvious candidates are these (in no particular order at the moment):

  • The Federation International de l’Automobile (FIA). Max Mosley. nuff said. But the historical track record of the FIA is not good either, having been in Bernie Ecclestone’s pocket for a long time (for sound financial reasons of course).
  • Any international governing body of professional boxing (e.g. IBA, IBC, IBF, IBO, IBU, WBA, WBC, WPBF, WBF, WBO, WBU). It’s not a crime for a sport to have many governing bodies, but to have so many ineffectual ones that have no interest in the participants’ welfare is remarkable.
  • The International Olympic Commission (IOC). Has there been another governing body whose members are so willing to be induced?
  • Oh yes, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). The rot starts at the top.
  • And so we come to the International Cricket Council (ICC). Supine in the face of political awkwardness and dominated by self-interest, this organisation is ill-equipped to govern a rapidly-changing sport.

So there’s a lot to write about, and my thoughts are not really in order yet. This pilot post is to ask if anybody can answer the following questions:

  1. Is there a world governing body that does a good job, i.e. acts in the long-term interest of the sport without favouring any subset of its exponents?
  2. Have I missed any obvious bodies from my initial list?

Answers on a postcard.

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8 Responses to “World’s worst sports governing body”


  1. 1 swethabhas September 24, 2008 at 11:45

    ICC is not a governing body. It’s an application where BCCI has the access!!

    Both Sucks!!

  2. 2 Dominic Sayers July 4, 2008 at 10:31

    The ICC has promoted itself to the top of this list with two farcical decisions from one meeting.

    Firstly the decision to continue paying the full Test-playing nation allowance to Peter Chingoka and his associates in Zimbabwe without them having to play any international games. Not much of this money seems to get anywhere near any cricketers. Good work, ICC.

    Leaving itself open to further ridicule, the ICC has also declared that if you refuse to take the field then you will be awarded a draw, having retrospectively changed the result of the controversial Oval Test between England and Pakistan which was originally (and correctly, see Law 21.3) awarded to England. Staying in the changing room would appear to be a good strategy if you find yourself in danger of losing a game. What a shame if Mike Brearley had done this in 1981 at Headingley.

  3. 3 Dominic Sayers April 18, 2008 at 09:02

    It’s probably nearer the truth to think of the ICC as a subsidiary of the BCCI, but I get your point. Cricket has a tremendous opportunity ahead with the explosion of interest in the Twenty20 format. It’s probably unreasonable to expect the international governing body to lead the change, but it could at least take a global perspective on individual initiatives such as the Allen Stanford one in Antigua and the IPL in India. Think global, act local.

  4. 4 fakeipl April 18, 2008 at 08:53

    The ICC and its “subsidiary” BCCI (Indian Board) are the worst…

    But come to think of it, all the ones you have mentioned follow very closely

  5. 5 Dominic Sayers April 18, 2008 at 07:35

    Was that the answer to question 1 or 2?

    If 1 then exactly what do they govern? They have kowtowed to the USPGA over trampoline-effect drivers so it is easy to see where the real power lies. They are as important to golf as the MCC is to cricket – a guardian of traditions but not really a governing body.

  6. 6 decster April 17, 2008 at 22:19

    The Royal and Ancient.

    If nothing else they have the best name.


  1. 1 South Africa bids to join the big league « Dominic Sayers Trackback on March 12, 2009 at 16:05
  2. 2 The inverted grip of Kevin Pietersen « Dominic Sayers Trackback on June 17, 2008 at 10:59

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