PtG Article 12.08.2015

Former IOC official to chair FIFA reform commission

FIFA has appointed former IOC director general Dr. François Carrard as independent chairman of the 2016 FIFA Reform Commission. The composition of the commission has already sparked critique.

Looking towards the IOC’s experiences in reforming governance structures, FIFA has chosen the Swiss lawyer Dr. François Carrard as the independent chairman of their 2016 Reform Commission.

The 77-year old Carrard is a former director general with the IOC and served as coordinator of the 2000 IOC reform committee set up as a consequence of the Salt Lake City Scandal. 

FIFA's Reform Commission is meant to oversee the international football body in reforming itself out of its current crisis and according to Carrard, there are resemblances between FIFA’s current crisis and what the IOC has gone through.

"I think this is a very big crisis, it is somehow comparable to what I experienced with the IOC," Carrard said about FIFA's strained situation, Reuters wrote.

"There are accusations of corruption against certain leaders, there are structural reforms which are badly needed. There is the interference of the political world, of the sponsors who are very unhappy, we had similar situations with the IOC at the time. And there is the interference of the justice... it is a very, very serious crisis," he said.

The newly announced reform commission has already met critique from the group #NewFIFANow advocating for FIFA reform, who in a press release calls the new commission a 'busted flush' mainly consisting of 'sporting insiders'.

"[T]he composition of FIFA's latest reform committee makes it clear that FIFA still does not understand the extent of the issues they face, not merely in terms of the necessity for independent reform but in rebuilding its reputation and credibility amongst the international community," says the announcement from #NewFIFANow.

Last week Transparency International made another entry in the FIFA reform debate by outlining a series of proposals for how FIFA could set up a reform committee.

Commercial partners to join reform process

In the FIFA press release announcing Carrard’s assignment, Blatter expressed confidence that Carrard is the right person to drive this reform process based on his earlier experiences.

“We are confident that he [Carrard, ed.] can help FIFA to strengthen its governance structures in a credible and meaningful way,” Blatter said.

Blatter also said that FIFA’s commercial partners will take part in the reform process providing two representatives to join the 12 appointed by the FIFA confederations. See the full list of commission members.

According to the press release, the Reform Commission will provide the FIFA executive committee with a first update on their work during an ExCo meeting next month.

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