Hauser Colloquium 2018

The Beautiful Game: Football (soccer), FIFA and the governance of Transnational Sport

Convened by Joseph H. H. Weiler

Football (Soccer) is by far the most popular sport worldwide. It is also a multi-billion business of considerable political import. In recent years it has been shaken by scandal of both financial and political nature as a quick Google search will evidence. The governance of this Sport at the transnational level is interestingly one of the few cases of such import which is not the classical intergovernmental model — raising delicate issues of legality, legitimacy, democracy and transparency.

This colloquium will explore the foundations and complexities of the transnational governance of sport, through the study of FIFA and the global football system. Central issues will include, for example: the structure and challenges of international “football federalism”; the distinctive nature of sport and its implications for legal rules designed to regulate economic activity; the demands and limits of democracy in the governance of sport; the conceptual, legal, and practical difficulties of operating “transfer systems” for individual players; the significance of political neutrality and the intergovernmental geopolitics of sport governance; adjudication and the unique role of the Court of Arbitration for Sport; and the similarities and differences between FIFA and other global sport authorities like the International Olympic Committee, the International Tennis Federation, and the International Cricket Council.

Public sessions: Mondays, 2.10-4:00 PM, Vanderbilt Hall 208

To attend, please RSVP with

Monday, 17 September 2018: Miguel Poiares Maduro, Professor, Director of the Global Governance Programme, European University Institute and former chairman of the FIFA Governance Committee

Monday, 22 October 2018Evan Norris, Counsel, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP and Former Director of the United States Justice Department’s FIFA Task Force

Monday, 29 October 2018Rick Parry, former chief executive, Liverpool Football Club and the former head, FA Premier League

Monday, 5 November 2018Michael Williamson, Chief Strategy Officer, F.C. Internazionale Milano; former Chief Operating Officer, D.C. United

Monday, 12 November 2018Stephen Weatherill, Jacques Delors Professor of European Law, University of Oxford Faculty of Law and Deputy Director for European Law, Institute of European and Comparative Law; and  Petros Mavroidis, Edwin B. Parker Professor of Foreign and Comparative Law, Columbia Law School and Professor of European Union and World Trade Organization (WTO) Law, University of Neuchâtel

Monday, 19 November 2018Ron Popper, Trustee and International Advisory Council Member, Institute for Human Rights and Business; co-chair of the steering group, Global Business Initiative on Human Rights; and lecturer on corporate responsibility; Minky Worden, Director of Global Initiatives, Human Rights Watch

Monday, 26 November 2018Mary Harvey, Starting goalie, 1991 U.S. Women’s National Team which won the inaugural 1991 FIFA Women’s World Cup; and member, 1996 Olympic Gold Medal team who also served on U.S. Soccer’s Board of Directors for 12 years, including 5 years on the Executive Committee

Monday, 3 December 2018Arnout Geeraert, Leuven International and European Studies (LINES) Institute; Visiting lecturer, University of Kent; an advisor to the EU Expert Group on Good Governance, the Sports Governance Observer for Play the Game / Danish Institute for Sports Studies