Pressure builds on FIFA leaders before crucial meeting

Photo: MCaviglia/Flickr

Photo: MCaviglia/Wikimedia

Transparency International has joined forces with the #NewFIFANow campaign to convince the Executive Committee to embark on real reform at their July 20 meeting.

If the top leaders at FIFA had hoped that their next Executive Meeting 20 July – the first after president Sepp Blatter declared he will lay down his mandate – would go under the radar due to the European summer season, they will be disappointed.

While the media and other stakeholders have been relatively silent in the past weeks, phone and email lines have been glowing between national and international football executives to secure the best position in the starting blocks of the run to find a replacement for Blatter. Or, for some, to find solutions so Blatter can once again break his promise of stepping down.

Also among anti-corruption activists activity is flourishing. The world’s most renowned anti-corruption organisation, Transparency International, has stepped up its sports engagement in recent years and now joins the campaign #NewFIFANow.

In a paper entitled “Give Back the Game – How to Fix FIFA” the group calls for an independent commission led by “eminent public figures” to make an overhaul of FIFA’s organisation and a replacement of the leadership.

Simultaneously, a long-term anti-corruption activist in sport, Sylvia Schenk, adds her personal proposal for a roadmap for FIFA reforms in a comment piece written to Play the Game.

Schenk’s suggestions go beyond the questions of governance structures, extending also to a call for a stakeholder summit for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and a broader consultation between FIFA and relevant NGO’s regarding the bidding criteria for the World Cup 2026 – the process that has been so far postponed due to the police actions against several top FIFA leaders.

How FIFA will address the demands, is a question we may be a bit wiser about when the football organization broadcasts the outcome of the ExCo meeting a press conference Monday 20 July at 14h CET (expected) at www.fifa.com .

Corruption at FIFA has been a core issue at the Play the Game conferences since the year 2000. Join our 2015 conference for another round of debates on the future of FIFA and football.

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