INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIP FOR THE REFORM OF FIFA
May 29, 2011 § 7 Comments
We have been working with Damian Collins MP to set an agenda for FIFA reform which we have included below. We are asking members of parliaments and national assemblies to sign up to this agenda to demonstrate the growing concern about the leadership of FIFA. We will shortly be publishing the names of the first people who have signed up. If you would like to add your name in support please email Damian on firstname.lastname@example.org
INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIP FOR THE REFORM OF FIFA
When a global institution of great importance loses its way, it is the duty of those entrusted with its care to chart a course of correction.
When the leaders of such an organisation lack the credibility that is required to do so, a valuable function of parliaments and governments is to offer sound and independent intervention and support.
We call parliamentarians and elected representatives from all the nations of the world to register their support on this website for a complete reform of FIFA based on the principles set out below.
1. Independent scrutiny
To restore worldwide confidence in FIFA and its leadership we call for the appointment of an open, transparent and independent commission to lead an inquiry; and thereafter enact major reforms that open all FIFA proceedings to the public. We call for the immediate suspension of the FIFA Presidential elections, whether through FIFA Statute 22 or not, until all of these matters are resolved.
2. Democratic decision-making
Football belongs to all of the citizens of the world, so every FIFA member should have a right to vote on the major decisions affecting the international game, in particular the decision on where the FIFA World Cup is held.
3. Open and public governance
The football citizens of the world deserve to know exactly what, how and why decisions are made. To promote public confidence in all decision-making, especially when members’ interests are diverse, each and every decision, vote and action taken regarding international football must be open to the public as well as the actions of all officials relating to their position.
4. Shared power
The leadership of the game must regularly pass to all geographical corners of the world, never lingering in any one place for too long, for that reason there should be term limits for membership of the FIFA Executive Committee and the President should not serve for more than two terms of office.
5. Transparent Finances
The finances of international football must be open to public inspection and of detailed public account including the sources of funding. Moreover, the officers of international football should have all of their compensation (e.g. income, expenses, salaries, costs, reimbursements) made on the public record and subject to independent audit and thereafter enact major reforms that open all FIFA proceedings and FINANCES to the public..
The Case for Change
Known by many names, football, futbol, futebol or soccer is the most popular sport on the planet, with an estimated three to four billion players and fans. The love of the game burns brightly in every nation on earth. As such, the game belongs to all of the football citizens of the world and not any one organisation or person.
Today, the worldwide game of football finds itself in a severe state of crisis. FIFA, the guardian charged with bringing order and respect to the world’s most popular sport, is plagued by continuing, unaddressed and not credibly resolved revelations and allegations of corruption. From one end of the globe to another, FIFA is almost universally regarded as corrupt and has lost all credibility to lead.
At present locked in the midst of a second FIFA World Cup bid corruption crisis, we find: a full one in four members of FIFA’s senior leadership accused of either bribery or serious impropriety; two former members of that body expelled for corruption, which incredibly reduced the number of FIFA leaders voting on the World Cup; and myriad FIFA officials and associates implicated. Alarmingly, many such allegations remain unresolved. Very seriously, it now appears that through the most recent World Cup bidding process, FIFA officials may have plausibly defrauded the governments and people of: Australia, Japan, Qatar, South Korea, the United States and, perhaps, many others. The mere possibility is outrageous and can no longer be tolerated.
We have heard from FIFA that they will investigate the charges, yet how credible is any institutions investigation of itself, especially when the allegations: are far from the first; and taint such a large number of individuals who occupy the highest levels of office and have done so for many years.
FIFA has long failed to realise what institutions of integrity the world over have recognised for years: what is corrosive to public trust is not only impropriety, but also the mere appearance of impropriety. Lacking absolute financial and procedural transparency, having an incredibly tarnished reputation and having lost the faith of football citizens across the world, FIFA lack the credibility needed to handle the present crisis, whether any of the allegations are true or not.
Alarmingly, the FIFA Ethics Committee, the body tasked by FIFA to lead the internal investigation, as recently as this January witnessed the resignation of one of Germany’s most esteemed judges, Mr. Günter Hirsch. Upon resigning, Mr. Hirsch made a very troubling allegation, stating: “responsible persons in FIFA have no real interest in playing an active role in resolving, punishing and avoiding violations against ethic regulations of FIFA.” Another troubling issue is the quality and integrity of the Ethics Committee “investigations.” In the wake of even more allegations of corruption, this time involving World Cup vote collusion, the Ethics Committee appears to have deemed a mere exchange of letters a sufficient “investigation” to conclude that nothing improper occurred, leaving yet another matter essentially unresolved. Thus, the Ethics Committee and FIFA lack the credibility to lead any investigation.
As a result, there can be no doubt that both FIFA and the Ethics Committee lack the present credibility to address the wide-ranging, long-unresolved allegations that reach to very highest levels of the organisation.