Global Football Writer, The Associated Press
Can sport police itself? Scandals in the governing bodies of football and athletics in particular have shown it can’t. Both FIFA and the IAAF were being exploited for years by officials enjoying a culture of kickbacks and corruption. It took media investigations and the intervention of police to bring down the leaders exploiting their positions of power for personal gain. Staff were often deployed to undermine and stifle media questioning over, what is now clear, were legitimate concerns. It’s even harder now to trust denials from governing bodies. But the responsibility of the media to fairly and accurately report on governing bodies has never been greater as news spreads rapidly – however irresistible the allegation; however tainted the governing body.
Rob Harris is Global Soccer Writer for The Associated Press, based in Britain leading coverage of the sport for the international news agency. He also appears on TV and radio stations analyzing football issues and wider sports news. He has reported for the AP for a decade after previously working for British newspapers. Having initially covered general news for the AP, he moved across to the sport side permanently in 2008, with a strong interest in the political maneuverings in football. He also covers on-field matters, covering club football throughout the season as well as World Cups and European Championships. He is just back from covering the Rio Olympics.