PtG Article 28.07.2011

European football clubs call for FIFA reforms

The chairman of the European Club Association (ECA), Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, threatens a ‘revolution’ if corruption-problems in FIFA are not addressed and if clubs and other football stakeholders do not get more influence in the decision-making process.

"I don't accept any longer that we [should be] guided by people who are not serious and clean (...) Now is the moment to intervene. Because knowing something is wrong is an obligation to change," Rummenigge says to British newspaper The Guardian.

Rummenigge, who also represents top German club Bayern Munich as chief executive officer, sees strong public support for reforms in FIFA after the recent scandals which on Saturday resulted in a life-ban for former FIFA president candidate Mohamed bin Hammam for his alleged bribery attempts during the campaigning leading up to the election at the FIFA congress on 1 June. 

He concludes that football authorities must “recognise that it's time for democracy, transparency and the right balance in the football family". The latter includes giving the clubs and other stakeholders more formal influence in the governing organisations.

In particular, the amount of international games on the football calendar is a problem, according to the ECA, and Rummenigge mentions the possibility of a breakaway from international associations if the fixture congestion is not addressed.

"I will give them a chance but I'm ready for a revolution if that's the only way to come to a solution," he said, stressing that he did not have much confidence in FIFA leaders and FIFA’s members, the national football associations, when it comes to reforming the organisation.

According to Rummenigge, the present system is tailor-made for the FAs, who have little interest in giving up their present power in FIFA.