The one 'fix' that FIFA needs
October 29, 2015
The most recent revelations by suspended FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, into the 2018/2022 World Cup bidding process are further evidence that FIFA in its current form needs to be consigned to the history books.
Without any apparent irony, Mr Blatter has stated that the ‘fix’ was in, ahead of the vote, to give the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 World Cup to USA.
He also sheets the blame for the eventual outcome – of Russia and Qatar – to one of his former colleagues, the suspended UEFA President, Michel Platini.
Even if – as Mr Blatter claims – he is not corrupt, the point remains that all of this happened under his leadership. Contrary to his view that the trouble started in May, the corrupt behaviour demonstrated within FIFA and football goes back decades, not just five months.
To hold a fresh Presidential election in the hope that moving deckchairs around the ‘good ship FIFA’ will make a difference, demonstrates just how much the FIFA Executive Committee has lost perspective. Their non-action, together with the 209 members of the Confederations, continues to bring FIFA further into disrepute.
The seven candidates and their supporters are also in the spotlight. They are ‘insiders’ who are well-attuned to the ‘FIFA Way’ of doing business.
At least two candidates have indicated they will withdraw from the election if Mr Platini is allowed to stand. These backroom deals are typical of the ‘FIFA Way’ and are unacceptable.
If the candidates indulge in such practices they do not understand the magnitude of the problems FIFA faces.
The test now lies with the Chair of FIFA’s Audit and Compliance Committee, Domenico Scala, who must rule on the ‘integrity’ of the FIFA Presidential candidates – even though the details of Mr Scala’s ‘integrity test’ are not known.
We agree with the Chairman of the Football Association that Sheikh Salman has questions he must answer regarding potential human rights violations against anti government protestors in Bahrain.
We look forward to meeting the candidates and learning of their proposals for how they will ‘fix FIFA’ and make world football respectable, at a forum at the European Parliament in Brussels on January 27, 2016.
The roll call of organisations that support independent reform led by an eminent person include Coca-Cola, VISA, McDonald’s, the European Parliament, the Culture, Media and Sport Committee of the House of Commons, FIFPro, Football Supporters Europe, Football Supporters UK, Avaaz, the International Trade Union Confederation and Transparency International.
It is a sad indictment on the men and women of the Executive Committee and the Congress that they cannot bring themselves to care more for the game than their role in it. They could easily show how much they value the game by agreeing to an external, independent time-limited FIFA Reform Commission, led by an eminent person, to bring about necessary governance and cultural reform.
Governments and taxpayers around the world who contribute to funding public broadcasters that have purchased broadcast rights from FIFA should immediately consider their position in continuing to support the current broken world football body.