In the wake of the corruption scandals that have engulfed the world’s most influential sports body, FIFA, Swiss authorities are working to usher in a new set of laws that will put an end to corruption across Swiss-based sporting organizations.
Officials are currently investigating how FIFA awarded the 2018 and 2022 World Cup contracts to Russia and Qatar.
This move comes at a time where sporting organizations are now under intense regulatory scrutiny amid a corruption probe into some of FIFA’s current and former executives who were charged in money laundering, bribery and racketeering schemes.
According to a report in Reuters, both chambers of the Swiss parliament have agreed to the new legislation, “Lex FIFA”, a law created in light of FIFA’s missteps.
Under this law, Swiss officials will be permitted to investigate corruption in the private sector, without a tip-off from inside the company. The new changes will also treat cases of bribery as a criminal offence. Private corruption will be punishable for up to three years in prison.
In an effort to root out corruption across Switzerland’s major sporting organizations, officials will be able to launch corruption investigations against 60 international sporting organizations such as FIFA, the International Olympic Committee, the International Rowing Federation, among others.
Some members of Parliament are criticizing the draft anti-corruption legislation saying that it might be difficult to implement due to the lack of sufficient whistleblower protections like the U.K. and U.S., which will make reporting wrongdoing a challenge.