Corporate governance reforms are underway at the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), after the anti-corruption organisation, Transparency International (TI), released a report that suggests an independent group of outsiders should be formed to ensure ‘good governance’ measures are implemented at the organisation.
TI’s report suggests a slew of reforms including the proposed governance-monitoring group, which would oversee an independent investigation of existing corruption allegations. The group would also introduce new procedures to ensure transparency and good governance, such as term limits for senior positions and a conflict of interest policy.
‘FIFA says it wants to reform, but successive bribery scandals have left public trust in it at an all-time low,’ says Sylvia Schenk, TI’s sports adviser, in a press release. ‘Working with an oversight group – taking its advice, giving it access, [allowing] it to participate in investigations — will show whether there is going to be real change. The process has to start now.’
The international soccer governing body says it has acknowledged the report, pointing out that several of the reforms outlined in the study are ‘already being implemented by FIFA,’ while ‘others [recommendations] have been approved by the 2011 FIFA Congress for their implementation in the coming months.’
TI says that the report sheds light on the recent corruption that involves some of FIFA’s top executives. According to the Wall Street Journal, Chuck Blazer, the US member of the executive committee, turned in other officials for allegedly conspiring to purchase votes from Caribbean Football Union officials in a June 1 presidential election.
‘Leaders in the world of sport have a particular responsibility to behave with integrity, not just because sports like football face corruption challenges such as match-fixing, but because sport provides role models for people everywhere, especially young people,’ Schenk adds.
[Article by Aarti Maharaj, Corporate Secretary]