Tunisia: Corruption Issues in Sport Risk Reputational Damage Abroad

by | Jan 25, 2024 | Economic, Legal, Social, Tunisia


In January 2024, multiple issues have surfaced highlighting the challenges of corruption in Tunisian sport, including in both tennis and soccer. 

In mid-January, Tunisian tennis player Anis Ghorbel was suspended for three years by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) for breaches of corruption policy. Ghorbel was among a group of tennis players found guilty of match-fixing and failure to report corruption as part of a match-fixing syndicate in Belgium. He cannot participate in any way in ITIA member events, which includes ATP, ITF, WTA, Tennis Australia, French Tennis Federation, Wimbledon and USTA events. 

In mid-January 2024, the French gaming regulator (Autorite Nationale des Jeux) announced that Tunisia’s Ligue 1 Championship would be removed from the list of authorized bets in France. The decision will come into effect in March 2024 following multiple Ligue 1 matches that aroused suspicion amongst French authorities of match manipulation. 

These issues follow a mid-November 2023 censure by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) identifying Tunisia as non-compliant with WADA policies and recommended legal structures. In early December 2023 the WADA agreed to extend Tunisia’s deadline for compliance until April 2024. 


Corruption in sport creates reputational risk for the country as a whole, impacting overall perceptions of the culture, economy, and environment in Tunisia.  

Sport is a means by which a country can define itself to an international audience, however, recent events have seen Tunisia stumble in several areas related to corruption in sport. While corruption is a worldwide problem, without significant reform and commitment to the rule of law, risk of corruption in society, and in sport, is likely to continue. 

The ability to effectively govern sport at the national level can communicate to the world much more than competence in sport, but can attract investors who have a positive impression of the marketplace through sport. 


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