Nottingham Law professor to help tackle corruption in sport

22 Feb 2018 13:44:48.120

A legal expert from the University of Nottingham has been appointed to an international network fighting corruption in sport.

Professor Sue Arrowsmith of the School of Law will be advising the International Partnership Against Corruption in Sport (IPACS). 

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The increased commercialisation of sport in the past few decades has seen increased levels of corruption. An example of this was the recent FIFA bribery scandal although the corruption can take many forms and affect other sports.  

At its second meeting in December 2017 IPACS set up three taskforces to look at different areas of corruption, and Professor Arrowsmith has been appointed as an Expert to Taskforce 1. 

This Taskforce will focus on reducing the risk of corruption in procurement relating to sporting events and infrastructure, such as in the award of contracts for constructing stadia and other facilities for the Summer and Winter Olympic Games. 

Along with two decades of work on procurement reform with organizations such as the European Union, United Nations, The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and World Bank, Professor Arrowsmith is eminently qualified for this role in light of her lifelong involvement in sport.

Among other things, she has represented Wales at senior level at triathlon, competed in the Engadine ski marathon (the “London marathon of cross country skiiing”) and been a pioneer for ladies football, running and playing for Wimbledon FC’s first ever ladies team back in the 1970s, when she also qualified as a FA referee. 

As well as being a regular cyclist and a spectator at football and athletics events, she is currently involved in Masters (the swimming system for over 25s) swimming both as a volunteer and competitor, and has won many medals at national level, as well as winning the over 50s open water swimming event for the University of Nottingham at the 2017 UK Corporate Games.  

She said: “Corruption and other problems in sport have a real adverse impact on many people in both developed and developing countries, from athletes trying to make a living from their talent to the millions who enjoy sport as spectators or casual participants. 

“The creation of this kind of partnership is long overdue. The importance of this initiative is not only that it brings together a wide range of important stakeholders but also that it focuses on the root causes of corruption in sport, namely poor governance in international organisations, as well as on the specific problems that this causes. Achieving real change will not be easy but I am looking forward to making my own contribution to this challenging work.” 

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IPACS is a network of intergovernmental organisations, international sports organisations and governments that aims to provide a concerted and coordinated effort by stakeholders to address this area in recognition of the complex and cross-border nature of the problem.  The Core Group of IPACS consists of the International Olympic Committee, Council of Europe, OECD, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, with a wider Working Group also embracing a number of other governments and international sporting organisations and the Commonwealth.  

Professor Sue Arrowsmith is the Achilles Professor of Public Procurement Law and Policy and Director of the School’s world-leading Public Procurement Research Group. She is the author of several eminent texts on international public procurement, as well as editor of the leading global journal, Public Procurement Law Review. In 2017 she produced the analysis of the impact of Brexit on public procurement for the European Parliament’s work on this area.
Alongside her work as an Expert with IPCAS she is currently writing a book on procurement and sports governance. 


Liz Cass - Head of Media Relations

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