The fiction of democracy in FIFA’s governance of football and the case of Football Federation Australia

  • Lloyd FreeburnEmail author


In its governance of football, FIFA claims to be democratic. In addition, FIFA purports to apply standards of democracy to its members. This article examines the nature and validity of the basis of these claims to democratic legitimacy. In particular, it considers the application of the principles of representative democracy within the governance of football by reference to the governance structure of FIFA and by reference to the example of one of its members, Football Federation Australia. It is argued that the governance structure of FIFA is not democratic, notwithstanding the associations’ pretensions to democracy, and that fundamental reform is required to make both FIFA and its member associations democratic.


Football Governance Democracy Legitimacy FIFA International federations 



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Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser Instituut 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.St KildaAustralia
  2. 2.University of MelbourneCarltonAustralia

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