FIFA agrees to investigate corruption scandals and institute organisational reforms
Transparency International (TI), the anti-corruption organisation welcomed the announcement today by FIFA that it will start a reform process to address allegations of corruption in world football’s governing body.
“Transparency International was optimistic that FIFA would deliver on its promise to investigate the past and introduce reforms. This is a very important first step,” said Sylvia Schenk, senior advisor for sport at TI.
“But it is just the beginning. They have addressed several key issues but there is still a lot of work to do to restore credibility and we will have to wait until December to see how far and how quickly they act. It will be a big challenge to implement the reforms and it will require a change of culture in the whole world of football.”
Transparency International commits to remain involved to help monitor these reforms.
On 16 August, Transparency International called on FIFA to carry out comprehensive governance reforms, which it laid out in an eight-page recommendation document, Safe Hands: Building integrity and transparency at FIFA, based on years of experience providing tools for companies and institutions that want to become more transparent and less vulnerable to corruption.
The document called on FIFA to order an independent investigation of existing corruption allegations and introduce new procedures to ensure transparency and good governance, such as term limits for senior positions and a conflict of interest policy, with external figures present in bodies that make major decisions.
Transparency International also said that these measures should be overseen by a group composed of representatives from outside FIFA (elder statesmen, sponsors, media and civil society) and inside football (federations, clubs, professional leagues, players, women’s football, referees, supporters) in a way that ensures its independence.
TI has called on FIFA to take similar steps before, both after the controversy surrounding the selection of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups and the presidential elections of 1 June 2011, but developed its advice more specifically after FIFA showed a new willingness to change: asking for advice on anti-corruption policies and providing more information about its financial management and governance structures.
Transparency International’s recommendations reflect good practice in the business world, and are drawn from existing documents such as its Business Principles for Countering Bribery and reporting guidance drawn from the section of the United Nations Global Compact related to fighting corruption.
Transparency International is the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption
For any press enquiries please contact
Zurich: Sylvia Schenk, Senior Advisor on Sport
T: +49 174 328 34 04
Berlin: Thomas Coombes, Senior Communications Officer
T: +49 30 34 38 20 662