PtG Article 09.11.2005

Jennings to FIFA: Exercise transparency through website

Andrew Jennings, the investigative British reporter who has long been a thorn in the side of the International Football Federation, FIFA, wants to drag the federation into the 21st century and demands that it starts utilising the Internet to achieve the transparency that the organisation claims to aspire to.

At the Play the Game conference, Andrew Jennings provided a checklist that could be used by any international sports federation with its own website.

“Why shouldn’t they put the minutes of executive meetings on their website? Why not add an audio link. Let’s hear them working, as they claim, for the Good of the Game,” he said.

Andrew Jennings continued:

“Let’s have the finance committee live on the web – or downloadable later. They are spending billions behind closed doors. There is no justification for the secrecy. Fans shut out of games to which FIFA’s bosses have given themselves thousands of tickets might like to hear Finance Committee deputy chairman Jack Warner propose Blatter’s secret salary – and approve his expenses. Let’s her chairman Senor Grondona explaining why he thought it necessary to give committee members (like himself) a 100 per cent pay rise in 2005.”

The FIFA website could also include minutes from every FIFA committee, breakdowns of dense financial reports and the confidential accounts that every national association has with FIFA.

“The fans would love a “Who Gets World Cup Tickets?” webpage. They could list the lucky recipients. Real fans would love to know.  Let us know how many tickets are ordered by federations run by crooks. Honest officials would welcome the chance to reveal what they buy and deflect fan’s suspicion and loathing of anybody in a FIFA blazer.”

“National associations, reporters, fans could follow the money trail and find out for themselves whether the ticket rackets benefit football, or is just another way of sweetening the voters who keep Blatter in power.”

Andrew Jennings also called for publication of decision by FIFA’s disciplinary committee and lists of gifts that have been given and accepted by FIFA’s top officials.

“Across the world’s democracies, the people’s elected representatives have to own up to these things. So why not a transparent FIFA? And putting it all in the public domain would be a way of telling potential gift-givers – you can’t do this in secret. If it ain’t legit, don’t offer it.”

“What this needs is strong commitment from FIFA to sample a strange and dangerous bunch of furits – honesty, integrety and transparency.”

Andrew Jennings calls for FIFA to utilise its website to provide fans and reporters access to real information about FIFA affairs.


Official high resolution pictures from the conference are provided by photographer Niels Nyholm.

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