Corruption in Sport: Who corrupts whom, where, when, why and how?


  • Raja LOTFI Higher Normal School (ENS) - Hassan II University, 20020 - Casablanca, Morocco.
  • Mohamed ESSAOUDI Management Department - Training Center for Education Inspectors (CFIE), 10050 – Rabat, Morocco.



Corruption, Sport, Types, Actors, Determinants, Causes, Impact.


Introduction. Our study is exploratory, descriptive and empirical. It endeavors to uncover the characteristics of a phenomenon that’s increasingly plaguing the Moroccan sports landscape: corruption.

Purpose. Our aim is threefold. It seeks to analyze the descriptive features of corruption; to identify its numerous forms in national sport; and to examine the drivers, causes and consequences of corruption at the level of national and international sports organizations.

Methodology. The methodological approach is both mixed and systemic.  It’s based on a total triangulation method in which three methodological approaches are crossed: diachronic and retrospective analysis of open online sources linked to mass media and sports organization databases; analysis of corruption cases recounted over the last 25 years and an empirical survey involving questionnaires and interviews. Our study mobilized 120 persons representing 14 different profiles, all acting in the national sports field.

Results. 252 cases of corruption were recorded and 12 forms of corruption were identified. The two most recurrent forms of corruption in national sport are match-fixing and illegal commissions. Also, the Moroccan sports organizations most perceived as "corrupt" are the royal federations, sports clubs and regional leagues. Football is the "king of corruption" in both frequency and scandal.  In national sport, our leading are perceived as the most "corrupt". They’re followed by managers, players' agents, trainers and referees. Women are generally less corrupt than men in national sports. Five causes determine corrupt practices in national sport: absence of ethical values; low income of players; lack of transparency within sports organizations (SOs); absence of internal control within SOs and poverty of sport athletes. Furthermore, the consequences of corruption in sport are numerous and affect all the country's vital sectors. These causes generate consequences which, once settled and entrenched, become causes for other consequences that are more endemic.

Conclusion. Corruption in sport is both a complex and multidimensional phenomenon. More money penetrates sport, more corruption increases and spreads. It is the result of structural, managerial and behavioral dysfunctions. It is a systemic endemic requiring systemic measures.



How to Cite

R. . . LOTFI and M. . . ESSAOUDI, “Corruption in Sport: Who corrupts whom, where, when, why and how? ”, IJITAS, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 11-21, Apr. 2024.