January 13, 2011 § 1 Comment
To make the world governing body of football transparent, democratic and accountable; that could be a revamped FIFA or a new, breakaway organisation.
Our aim is not to campaign against the countries of Russia or Qatar.
What kind of campaign is changeFIFA?
It is definitely a campaign that was born on the internet, the best way to mobilise the mood of the world into action. It is a campaign for everyone, from the fan to the superstar player to anyone who feels a positive connection to the game. We would like to believe that a thorough modernisation of FIFA would come voluntarily from the very top, but that is highly unlikely and is why changeFIFA exists. The campaign is a positive, peaceful campaign and recognises that a great many good and honest people work for FIFA, we, like them, want the very best for the game.
Any news news on the proposed debate on world football governance?
We are currently talking to broadcasters, venues and possible participants. We are pitching it as a summit for football. So far we have received a remarkably positive response. We would like the result of the debate to be a clear and achievable plan defined for the governance of world football that everyone could get behind. We are working on the logistics for this right now. The plan is to throw ideas onto the table and arrive at a concensus. Our view is that everyone who has a vested interest in the game should witness it, either in person, via TV or online, from players and officials to journalists and fans. Ideally we would like those watching to be able to vote on motions put forward. We would like the football world as a whole to decide on how the sport should be operated.
How can those interested support changeFIFA?
We have a facebook page and a twitter account. We want people to sign up to those for two reasons. Firstly to keep up to date with what we are working on and also to provide a force of numbers, a collective voice that can not be ignored. If you believe that football governance must modernise in a positive and fair way then please follow us on Twitter here @changeFIFA
What potential problems are there for changeFIFA?
Fear. Many key people in the game are afraid to speak out. We are urging them to make their feelings known and to talk openly about their visions for how the game should be run. Those who shape and who shaped it should be listened to without compromise or prejudice. The reality is that many people feel alienated from how the game is run. If they find the courage to talk openly then the other great problem of resistance to change will break down extremely quickly.
What are you currently working on?
The live debate. We want to get this hosted before the Presidential elections. It is a huge undertaking, but we are driven by a burning desire to change football for the better so we are confident it will happen.
Who funds changeFIFA?
No one. We are entirely self-funded, although those funds are very bare-bones funds. Again, our burning desire to change football for the better keeps us going on and we believe that the end result will justify the hard journey.
Can FIFA really ever change?
Yes. With a concerted effort from all those who love the game we can collectively change football for the better. The current FIFA situation isn’t set in stone and they do not own the game, we all share it. With that in mind we believe that change will happen, it’s a question of when – we are working on that…
December 15, 2010 § 6 Comments
You can still be a hero.
At this moment the future of football lies in your hands – and it has nothing to do with legacy projects in new frontiers. It has everything to do with the people who feel alienated from FIFA. Sadly, that is just about everyone who watches and plays the game.
It is no secret that you would love to end your career with a Nobel Peace Prize. That is quite some aim, but a noble one. Two of the five main parts of the Prize, as stipulated by Alfred Nobel are that the winner must show their best work towards the promotion of fraternity between nations and the holding and promotion of peace congresses. At this moment in time it is fair to say that you are falling way short in those two areas.
FIFA’s convoluted voting processes, backroom deals and secrecy hardly allow for fraternity between nations. In terms of holding peace congresses your recent press conference and answers you gave to reasonable questions about homosexual fans and players travelling to Qatar fell way short of promoting peace. Many people were deeply offended and angry about those comments, whilst there is barely a football fan with any passing interest in the game who isn’t suspicious about the machinations of FIFA decision making, transparency and motives.
It does not have to be like this. If you were to call for a complete restructuring of FIFA which led to a democratic, transparent and fair FIFA – one which valued and respected those who make it the wonder that it is – your Nobel Prize would be nailed on. If you were to radically modernise the Presidential voting process and allow fresh ideas to enter the FIFA system you would be a hero to those who have grown disillusioned and depressed at the state of the game. We are talking hundreds of millions of people.
Think about it on a personal level. Does being deeply unpopular feel good? Imagine how it would feel to be the hero of the game as opposed to quite possibly the least popular person in its history. The choice is yours, openly and vigorously modernise FIFA and the positive effect would be your lifetime legacy, a legacy to be extremely proud of.
You can still be a hero.
December 10, 2010 § 6 Comments
(Update, see below)
We are working to set up a live debate on the future of world football governance. The plan is to hold this in Barcelona sometime in early 2011 and broadcast it live over the internet and television. FIFA and Blatter will be invited to attend, as will key people in the football industry from players, coaches and managers to politcians, journalists, administrators, agents, sponsors, tea ladies and most importantly – the fans. Ideally we would like to be able to provide fans the opportunity to vote online on propositions put forward. The ability to submit ideas and thoughts will also be hugely important.
The aim of the debate is not to generate lots of hot air that will evaporate, but to define a clear plan for the direction of the governance of world football that is workable, democratic and transparent. Our belief is that rather than fawn to FIFA, politicians must stand up and demand change on behalf their electorate. They need to take an active role in demanding democracy, just as they do so forcefully elsewhere – this is why we believe they must attend. An equal share in The Beautiful Game has to be a right of any lover of the game whose pulse has raced at the thought it, their electorate. That FIFA operates as an unaccountable organisation in 2011 is plain wrong and unfair – this debate will be a major step on the road to ending the failed status-quo.
We are committed to helping to return the game back to the people; we believe an open, high level debate with a purpose is a great place to start real hard nosed visible change.
We will post more information as the plan develops.
We are getting closer to announcing a date and venue. We have also been working hard to find a broadcaster and panelists (including Mr.Blatter). Our main drive is the belief that it is good to talk before making decisions, it is also good to ask fans what they think. One of the things we are also working on is a live voting system so viewers can vote on motions and ideas put forward.
Again, we’ll keep you posted as and when we have news.
December 5, 2010 § 2 Comments
ChangeFIFA is extremely grateful to all those on Twitter and Facebook who are supporting the drive to create an open and transparent world governing body for football. It is important to make a couple of points clear: ChangeFIFA was not created as a backlash against England’s failure in the bid to host the 2018 World Cup. Nor was it created as a negative response to Russia or Qatar’s successes in their respective bidding processes. It was created months previously, as a campaign to create a world governing body for football that anyone who loves the sport could be proud of.
As many have pointed out, legally challenging FIFA’s hold on football could be a ‘minefield’. There are two choices: either do nothing, or act to make a positive change. Doing nothing allows the failed status quo to continue and that is no longer acceptable. This is why ChangeFIFA will not stop until fans and players get a world governing body that respects them.
Currently there are two clear options to achieve this goal:
1. Form a new world governing body for football. This would almost certainly require national associations to break from FIFA. They would do so because of their belief that FIFA no longer has the best interests of football at heart. They would insist that any replacement organisation must be both democratically appointed and independently audited. They would also insist that this new governing body must be financially transparent.
2. Reform FIFA in its current form. A reform of FIFA is the most workable of the two options, but to be successful the organisation needs a complete overhaul. The ‘house of football’ will require a purge and rigorous renovation. Half measures will only lead to doubt.
Option 1 is the most ambitious, yet most dynamic option. To work it would need at least 3 national associations of high stature to come to an agreement. This would force a tipping point and almost certainly lead to a mass breakaway.
There is little to no chance that FIFA would voluntarily agree to either transparency or a complete restructuring. This means that option 2 would require a combination of intense legal and political pressure alongside the current force of mass public desire for change. It is probably true to say that trust in FIFA for the majority of informed fans and players has reached breaking point. As a consequence, it is probable that any moves on FIFA’s part to self-renovate or restructure themselves would be met with a high degree of cynicism.
Over the coming weeks we will seek to expedite the process of change. Now is the time to see it through. We have already spoken with current players and retired legends of the game to seek their opinion and support. In all cases they believe in what we are working towards. We have also approached national associations and politicians. We understand that many fans have severe misgivings about them, but the reality is that for complete reform to take place they must play their part. The most important people in the transformation of world football however, are the fans — and that includes those who work in the media. To change FIFA we need your support and input. ChangeFIFA IS the fans. Your continued support is not just massively appreciated — it is vital.
Please visit our facebook page…
A note on FIFA:
In any large organisation, controversial leadership can lead to ordinary employees suffering by association. FIFA is no exception. There are many decent and honest people who work for FIFA. We do not bear any grudge against these people, nor do we believe it is fair for them to be tarred with the same brush as the Executive Committee. In the event of a new governing body of world football being created, these talented, football-loving people will be key to its success. After all, the majority of good people who work for FIFA do so because of the same passion for the sport that we all share.
August 17, 2010 § Leave a comment
This website will hopefully avoid becoming a portal for wild attacks on FIFA. Only with positivity in attack and a friendly, yet hard approach will the ultimate objective be met. Real change at the top of football will only happen if there is an organised and professional approach to challenging the status quo. The current regime and its forthcoming continuation will welcome an angry rabble taking potshots at it. What it will not be able to ignore is a tight controlled unit backed by the force of global opinion.
It is highly probable that around a billion people around the globe love football. Many of them will have no clue how FIFA operate, if they did it is likely they would back this campaign to ‘change FIFA’ and make it a democracy where they could vote on who runs the game. FIFA will not be able to resist the will of the people. Our belief is that it is entirely possible to encourage 1 million people to join the Facebook group. Individually none of us can realistically force change, as a collective will they simply have to listen.
This is not a vanity project. As lovers of the game we want it to be respected, that can only be possible if it is shared by us all, the fans and players of the sport. It is wrong that unelected men dictate how the game should be operated and played. They will point to legal statutes that have been passed over time. It is time these were torn up and the game modernised.
Should enough interest in this campaign develop the plan is to create a team to manage the campaign. At all times the vision will be to take the game to the people. Please keep coming back to this site for news on how the campaign is developing. Forward this onto your friends who also love football, only together in positivity can we force change.
August 17, 2010 § 1 Comment
Football, Soccer, Calcio, Futebol, Futbol – the name changes but it is a universal language: ‘The People’s Game.’ Unfortunately, at the moment it is anything but.
This website aims to be the startpoint of a drive to return the game to the people; to make FIFA an organisation with a President and board voted in by the people who play, watch and love the game. Public vote is the greatest system of accountability and fairness known; We can make it work with FIFA.
With enough support we believe we can negotiate with FIFA to realise our objectives, which are:
* To allow football fans to become members of FIFA
* To give these FIFA members the right to vote for future FIFA presidents
* To allow any person to become a FIFA presidential candidate
In this way, football will be given the leadership it deserves, chosen by those who love the game. Our aim is to create a database online of people who love the game enough to register their support and help us to apply pressure on those ‘running’ the game – FIFA – to stop the current ruling system in football and realise our objectives.
What we would love you to do is join our Facebook group, even if Facebook isn’t your thing. We chose this medium because it offers a well known system which is easy to register on and offers a visible platform for monitoring how many people believe in the cause. By joining this group you are helping to take football out of the hands of those who currently control it and to give it back to the people. Help us realise this vision and create a modern, transparent sport to be proud of.
ChangeFIFA was created in June 2010 by Oliver Fowler and is currently a self funded campaign.