CHANGEFIFA CALLS FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF AN INDEPENDENT COMMISSION
May 12, 2011 § 1 Comment
World football’s governing body, FIFA, must immediately appoint a wholly independent commission of unassailable integrity to address the latest allegations of corruption and bribery that have recently arisen against a full quarter, 6 of 24, of FIFA’s Executive Committee leadership.
Allegations of “improper and unethical behaviour” were made against six members of FIFA’s Executive Committee in the British Parliament two days ago, with two of those members alleged to have received $1.5 million each in bribes from the Qatar 2022 World Cup bid in exchange for their votes.
Alarmingly, this is far from the first time that allegations of wrongdoing have plagued FIFA and the Executive Committee. Last year two Executive Committee members were suspended for corruption prior to the 2018/2022 World Cup vote, meaning that a total of eight members of FIFA’s leadership have recently been identified as potentially corrupt. More than that, the ethics of FIFA and the Executive Committee have been called into question for many years.
In light of the current FIFA Presidential campaign, FIFA urgently needs an interim commission to oversee an independent, judicial-like inquiry into these latest allegations so that they are credibly investigated and dealt with.
Both Presidential aspirants are conflicted and, like any other member of FIFA or the Executive Committee, would have little credibility in handling the present crisis. In particular, the allegations arose under Mr. Blatter’s watch and Mr. Bin Hammam faces a conflict of interest as there are allegations of bribery leveled against the his countries’ successful 2022 World Cup bid.
ChangeFIFA therefore calls on FIFA Member football associations to immediately call for and assemble an Extraordinary Congress pursuant to FIFA Statute 22 and appoint a wholly independent commission of unquestionable integrity to oversee an investigation of the allegations. With respect, neither Mr. Blatter nor Mr. Bin Hammam should be involved in the investigative process.
The international football community has lost all confidence in FIFA. As a result, the interim commission must be put in place to resolve this matter swiftly and decisively.
FIFA has long failed to realize that what is corrosive to public trust is not only impropriety, but also the mere appearance of impropriety. Because FIFA lacks absolute financial and procedural transparency, they lack the credibility needed to handle the present crisis, whether the allegations are true or not.
The only way to credibly reach the truth in this matter and, critically, restore worldwide confidence in FIFA and it’s leadership is to appoint an open, transparent and independent commission to lead the inquiry, and thereafter enact major reforms that open all FIFA proceedings (including all meetings and votes) and finances to the public and press.