FIFA-INTERPOL-COSAFA INTEGRITY WORKSHOP
WELCOME ADDRESS BY MR KIRSTEN NEMATANDANI: SAFA PRESIDENT
FIFA-INTERPOL-COSAFA INTEGRITY WORKSHOP
OR TAMBO GARDEN COURT
Mr John Abbott: Chairperson Interpol Steering Group on Integrity in Sport and other colleagues from Interpol
Mr Ralf Mutschke: FIFA Director of Security and other colleagues from FIFA.
Executive Committee Members and senior administrators from the COSAFA Member Associations
Colleagues in the National Executive Committee of SAFA
Dr Robin Peterson: CEO of SAFA
Mr Dennis Mumble: COO of SAFA
Ms Sue Destombes: COO of COSAFA and other colleagues from the COSAFA office
Mr Cambridge Mokanyana: Acting CEO of the Premier Soccer League and delegation
Colleagues from the various law enforcement agencies in the SADC Region
Colonel Magobosha and other colleagues from South African Police Services
Heads of Departments from SAFA
Collegues from Players Unions and Masters Associations in the SADC Region
Ladies and Gentlemen
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you on behalf of the South African Football Association to South Africa and to this momentous workshop which has been organised by Interpol, FIFA and COSAFA. I hope all of you have had a safe travel to Johannesburg and are enjoying your stay so far.
I also want to take this opportunity to thank the organisers for choosing our country to host the workshop.
The South African Football Association identifies fully with the objectives of the workshop which are:
To raise awareness of the key contemporary match-fixing issues and threats in football
to identify good practice and areas for development.
The objectives fit it very well with our Associations current initiatives to combat corruption and to learn from FIFA, Interpol and Sister Federations about their success stories in this regard.
The seniority of the representatives attending this workshop from our Sister Federations demonstrates without ambiguity, the level of significance that each of our Federations attach to the challenge of uprooting corruption in football.
As you may have noticed, our Association has also selected a very senior delegation to attend the workshop. We have done this not only because we want to extend the highest level of hospitality to you, our guests, but also because we are convinced that in order to succeed in this fight, we need commitment at the highest level.
Match fixing, age cheating and illegal betting are cancers which should not be tolerated because they rob the game of its innocence and threaten to undermine the good efforts of honest athletes and administrators. Sport plays a very big role in Society. A lot of people are actively taking part in sport, even more people are enthusiastic spectators, sport takes a lot of space in the media and economic impact of sport is substantial.
As in all other sphere in society, we experience that people are cheating in sport.
The element of honesty, high ethical standard and taking responsibility are lacking.
The greatest problem facing human civilisation today is that we are losing deep human values – integrity, compassion and respect. We are constantly faced with temptations to compromise ethics and take a short-cut road to riches. Our desires for money, sex, power and fame often translate into corruption, lies, love-affairs or crime. A minute of pleasure leads to many years of suffering. And by valuing wealth above ethics we lose everything.
Ethics are set of moral principles or laws of the universe that govern the behaviour of a system – be it an individual, organisation or society. Ethics is the glue that keeps different elements of the system together – without ethics government, business or society cannot function properly.
Leaders in government and business will have to invest more and more in corporate governance and ethical practice. Ethical behaviour should be recognised as a source of competitive advantage because it promotes organisational integrity and fairness and generates passion, trust, commitment and high performance.
Martin Luther King said that “if we are going to go forward, we must go back and rediscover those precious values – that all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality has spiritual control.”
Be a person of values. Be ethical. Awaken your potential knowing that the power of ethics is within you.
Understanding the role of leaders
A leader’s role is to guide and direct others towards the achievement of a goal. Leaders have the power and authority to motivate others and enforce the organisation’s rules and policies, as well as their own viewpoints, and so are key in directing an organisation’s corporate culture and ethical stance. While most people think of the CEO as the most important leader within a company, the board of directors and mid-level managers play an important part as well.
Leading by example
Being an ethical leader is about far more that drafting, following, and implementing ethical codes. Through his or her actions, a good leader will promote an organisational culture that supports ethical conduct and rewards employees for acting in ways that are consistent with the company’s values and ethical standards. This culture will permeate every aspect of the business from its public image and how stakeholders are treated, to the nature of the products sold.
Characterizing ethical leaders
Most strong, ethical leaders have certain characteristics in common. Developing these traits will help you to build an ethical corporate culture, loyal and happy employees, and a successful company.
Ethical leaders have strong personal character; they possess robust principles that allow them to define a path and lead others along it.
Ethical leaders have a passion to do right – for their customers and their employees. Of course, they are not infallible, but they do necessarily begin with the right intentions.
Ethical leaders recognize that good ethics are good for performance and lead to a healthy bottom line.
Ethical leaders are proactive – they don’t just follow policies but make and shape them. This often requires courage – for example, when proposing an unpopular new direction.
Ethical leaders consider stakeholders’ interests. They build trust across the board and profit from the loyalty that this inspires.
Ethical leaders are positive role models in and out of the workplace. They match their talk about values with visible actions that demonstrate respect.
Athletes use illegal means including doping to achieve better performances, referees are being bribed to achieve certain outcome of competitions and sports officials make wrong decision to benefit themselves, their friends or country. Cheating has always been going on in sport, but because of ever growing role of sport economically and politically the problem is getting bigger.
It is quite unfortunate that due to value of the professional leagues, which has increased multi-fold because of broadcast rights, everybody now wants to participate in these elite leagues by hook or crook. We need to put in place effective measures to mitigate this risk.
It is now a matter of public knowledge that the friendly matches of the South African Men’s Senior National Team before the 2010 FIFA World Cup were allegedly targeted by match fixing syndicates and their corrupt referees. As a result of this suspicion, in March this year the Association requested FIFA to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter. We are working very closely with FIFA on this matter and are hopeful that they will conclude their investigation soon.
We have made it very clear to our staff, members, the media, stakeholders and the public that anyone who is found guilty of colluding with the syndicates will be dealt with harshly and without sympathy.
I am pleased to inform you that exactly seven days ago, on 18 August 2012, the National Executive Committee of the Association approved a whistleblowing policy as well as the establishment of a 24 hour anti corruption / whistleblowing hotline where anyone can report suspicious acts of corruption in football. This we believe will go a long way in mitigation of all the risks associated with corruption in football.
As you will hear from members of our delegation in the course of the workshop, we are also working closely with the South African Police Services to identify vulnerable matches and intervene where necessary. As we speak, we have a court case where a football personality is on trial for allegedly attempting to influence the outcome of a Vodacom League match in June 2011.
One of the key lessons from the events of the past few years is that criminals seem to have realised that we as football Federations do not share information about suspicious activities and further, that we do not seem to act with a common purpose against corruption. It is my sincere hope that one of the outcomes of this workshop will be to close this gap by establishing a reliable mechanism for information exchange. Nothing stops COSAFA from being the pioneer of this initiative.
“The true nature of life is not length, but honesty” John Lyly
“In this world everything changes except good deeds and bad deeds; these follow you as the shadow follows the body” Unknown
With these words, I want to wish you successful and productive deliberations.