FIFA set for major reforms

FIFA's new chief reformer has announced a raft of proposals to prevent corruption and conflicts of interest at the world governing body.

Football News: FIFA Headquarters

He also admitted that some members will not like his plans for change.

Mark Pieth, a professor in criminal law at the University of Basle, has been appointed to chair FIFA's independent governance committee. He will not however investigate allegations of previous wrongdoing by FIFA members but was instead presenting proposals for future reform.

Pieth's recommendations include that there should be independent members appointed to the executive committee, that the power of the FIFA president should be limited, and that the organisation adopts serious anti-corruption measures regarding officials and World Cup votes.

He also said he would walk away if he feels his reform proposals are not taken seriously.

Pieth told a news conference in Zurich: "We are talking about serious stuff here. Not everyone will like this.

"I'm not too worried about it because to some extent this is a process. We are trying to change something, but of course there's a bottom line, if we are seriously unhappy I can say 'this is it, I've had it'."

Pieth, who is being paid by FIFA for his work, has produced a 39-page report on proposals for reform.

He warns that World Cup bidding in FIFA's current format are "highly visible and politically sensitive decisions and are actually a mix of corruption risk and conflict of interest concerns".

He added: "Suspicion that individuals either sold their vote or profiteered directly from the choice of venue is combined with allegations of a strategic use of development money in order to influence decision-takers of ExCo."

Pieth said the bidding process should be revamped to prevent manipulation and the decision for the FIFA Congress to take the final vote on World Cup hosts "is a step in the right direction from a corruption prevention perspective".

Last December's votes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups became mired in controversy with two FIFA members banned for breaching ethics committee rules. England's ex-2018 bid chief Lord Triesman made allegations of unethical requests by FIFA members during the campaign.

These are the main points:

:: The FIFA president should have a limited term in office, as should FIFA members.

:: There should be independent members of the FIFA executive committee, with a lead director to hold elected members to account.

:: World Cup votes are "highly visible and politically sensitive decisions and are actually a mix of corruption risk and conflict of interest concerns". The voting procedure needs to be revamped.

:: Any payments to FIFA's member associations and to people close to them need to have "close financial scrutiny".

:: Payments to contractors and service providers should be analysed to ensure no corruption.

:: Cash for development projects such as the GOAL programme should be controlled from beginning to end to ensure the money does not end up in the pockets of officials.

:: Specific rules need to be drawn up to clarify FIFA's position towards gifts and hospitality, political and charitable contributions.

:: A "discrete disclosure channel" hotline to report corruption should be made available.

:: FIFA should adopt corporate anti-corruption and anti conflict of interest controls.

:: FIFA officials should be subject to due diligence to establish whether they are suitable for office.

comments powered by Disqus

Most Popular News

News & Update