Good governance ultimately aims to lead the WBSC to success by protecting the interests of the whole WBSC family, while at the same time creating value for all stakeholders. Good Corporate Governance seeks to balance entrepreneurship, control and transparency, while supporting the WBSC with efficient decision-making processes. Good governance is a continually evolving concept and public scrutiny of sport organisations rightly remains high.

Good governance does not guarantee success; however, poor governance almost certainly guarantees failure. Much like a coach develops a training plan and goals for a team, governance helps set the purpose for an organisation, its vision and how it will get there. For a gameplan to be effective, it is important to know the objective, the rules, the team members, and the team’s approach. The same applies in governance.

While the sports movement welcome any initiative aimed at promoting better governance in sport, it must also ensure that these initiatives take due regard of the following key aspects:

  • The complex environment in which international sport evolves, where International Federations (IFs) have a statutory duty to first and foremost protect the interests of their national member associations/federations (and them to do the same with their members) while taking into account the interests and (at times, diverging) views of all its stakeholders (athletes, officials, clubs, leagues, event organisers, fans, media, public authorities, etc.);
  • The specificity of sport, whereby sport is uniquely rooted in society through the social, educational, health, economic and recreational values it generates;
  • The sport organisations’ hybrid structures, on the one hand based on voluntarism and professionalism, and on the other hand established to support not-for profit missions through commercial activities;
  • The sport organisations’ international nature (as opposed to national, regional or continental), requiring any measure to be capable of being implemented worldwide taking into account the various cultures and levels of development among nations;
  • The pyramidal structure of sport, universally accepted and recognised, whereby an athlete joins a club which is a member of a national federation or association which in turn is a member of an IF. IFs are therefore the world governing bodies of their sports responsible for the globally applicable rules and regulations that determine the basis of, and enable, international competition.

To further strengthen and support efforts to reduce the risks of corruption and promote a culture of good governance in sport, The Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF), settled the basics for Good Governance in the world of sport with the launch of the GTF (Governance Task Force) and its model. First established in November 2015, a partnership between international sports organisations, governments, international organisations and other relevant stakeholders was formed as International Partnership Against Corruption in Sport (IPACS). Through expert taskforces, a Steering Committee and high-level meetings, their work has been widely recognised by public authorities, the Council of Europe, expert commentators and the media and its model, including indicators and recommendations, adopted and implemented by the sport community including the WBSC. Below video briefly explains about IPACS and importance of Good Governance.

Governance in the Sport Landscape

Governance is the system by which organisations are directed and managed to be accountable to their internal and external stakeholders. It is the way in which expectations are made clear and the culture of the organisation is modelled.

Sport organisations should regularly consider how their governance structures allow them to best achieve their purpose and respond to the challenges of a changing environment. There is no single best structure for all sporting organisations. But each sport organisation is responsible for identifying and justifying what the best structure is for it into the future.

All sport organisations require funds and commercial revenues in order to fulfill their mission to promote and develop sport at national and world levels. These revenues are essentially re-invested in development programmes (e.g. grassroots activities, coaching courses, infrastructure, sports equipment and sports events etc.). As a result, the governance of sport organisations requires an application of both “not-for-profit” organisations’ and corporate entities’ governance models.

The WBSC, together with the WBSC Integrity Unit, has committed itself to maintaining the highest standards of integrity and transparency in its governance.