Olympic Games, Euro football, Tour de France: 8 risks to avoid !

Sport is a source of popular enthusiasm, but it can also fuel media debates, be a source of political tension or be at the center of important financial stakes.

In this context, because of their activity and their internal organization, sports associations form a separate sector of activity, particularly in the context of risk management, where it appears necessary to set up personalized risk families.

While the application of a recognized standard model such as COSO is reassuring, the risk families can be further refined for sports associations.


risques entreprise à éviter


Here is a proposal of 8 families of risks specific to sports associations that complement the standard risk management models:

1- Operational risk

Risk preventing the sports association from accomplishing its missions: organizing competitions, developing the attractiveness of its sport, etc.

– Risk of delay in organizing a competition
– Risk of error in the publication of sports results
– Risk of interruption of TV broadcasting

2- Political risk

Risk of damaging the cohesion and internal unity of the sports association and/or its relations with its stakeholders (public authorities, local and international associations, non-governmental organizations, …).

– Risk of conflict between two national federations
– Risk of creating a competing sports association
– Risk of not inviting an important public figure to a competition

3- Image risk

Risk of damaging the reputation of the sports association and the confidence of stakeholders in it.

– Risk of disseminating inappropriate content (discriminatory, unethical…)
– Risk of mistranslation in official documents
– Risk of a smear campaign in the press

4- Legal risk (compliance with laws)

Risk of putting the sports association in a situation prohibited by law or by its internal guidelines.

– Risk of error or contradiction in the competition rules
– Risk of non-compliance with the association’s operating rules (statutes, directives, etc.)
– Risk of non-compliance with labor laws

5- Risk of fraud and/or corruption

Risk of intentional action taken to obtain personal benefits or to harm the sports association.

– Risk of corruption in the awarding of the organization of a competition
– Risk of corruption of a referee
– Risk of fraud in the reimbursement of staff expenses

6- Risk related to information security

Risk that may affect the confidentiality, integrity or accessibility of information held or necessary for the proper functioning of the sports association.

– Risk of disclosure of confidential data on athletes
– Risk of inaccessibility to competition results on the Internet
– Risk of loss of data

7- Financial risk

Risk of damaging the finances of the sports association.

– Risk of paying damages following a lawsuit
– Risk of purchasing products/services above the market price
– Risk of loss of attractiveness of the sport resulting in a drop in revenue

8- Financial reporting risk

Risk that may affect the visibility, reliability, integrity and availability of financial statements.

– Risk of erroneous financial statements
– Risk of loss of accounting data contained in the accounting software
– Risk of late delivery of financial statements

Updated at 29 November 2022

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