Sepp Blatter announced today he is stepping down as President of FIFA.
Transparency International Managing Director Cobus de Swardt said:
“FIFA has overseen a sordid empire of corruption. Now is the time for reform, there should be no turning back, no obstacles, nothing that should any longer hang over this beautiful game.”
Seven steps FIFA must take now
1.Independent Reform Committee
FIFA needs a truly independent reform committee composed of people appointed independently and not paid for by FIFA, with the power to investigate, publish reports, and make public their recommendations to the executive committee. Reform cannot come from within FIFA, nor from those who are no longer credible.
2.A new attitude and greater transparency
FIFA, and its continental and national federations, must accept that there is no public trust in FIFA. It should disclose the pay of officials, their expenses and more detail on how FIFA spends its money in line with internationally accepted standards. The national federations should also publish how much money they get from FIFA and how it is spent.
3.IOC Agenda 2020 and urgent actions
FIFA can learn from the IOC and adapt the recommendations of its Agenda 2020 to football. It should adopt urgent actions that signal independent oversight and put in monitoring systems to ensure they are followed. These include:
- independent due diligence for every individual appointed/elected to a senior FIFA function, including delegates to the congress
- independent non-executive directors on the Executive Committee;
- term limits for Executive Committee members
- transparent compliance procedures for any FIFA member requiring financial support from FIFA
4.Urgent measures on Qatar and Russia
If corruption is found in these bids then the bids must be re-run. FIFA must address the fundamental human rights and anti-corruption measures for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in Russia and Qatar. No one should lose their life for sport. Civil society organisations in both countries and on the international level should be systematically involved in its implementation and monitoring, particular as regards working conditions.
Politicians can help FIFA reform by agreeing on the international political stage to adhere to a sport “Code of Conduct” to put an end to the cosy relationship that currently exists. This would apply to relationships with FIFA and all sports organisations.
This should include provisions on conflicts of interest and revolving doors (for example, sports ministers taking over national federations); compliance/transparency/accountability requirements attached to public funding; keeping professional distance from sport officials and sport stars; and rules that govern VIP invitations.
Sponsors should take collective action to pressure FIFA, its confederations and national federations to meet the highest standards of compliance and ethics. This includes having greater transparency on contracts and VIP invitations, for example.
An international initiative by the sport, human rights, labor standards and anti-corruption organisations should initiate future steps at the international and national level to establish globally accepted standards that sponsors adhere to. If sponsors don’t act, fans may force their hands.
The corruption scandals at FIFA indicate that there needs to be tougher and more transparent compliance standards in TV-rights companies. This includes the companies that buy rights and sell them on in different geographical markets.
For any press enquiries please contact
T. + 44 20 8960 2526
T: +49 30 34 38 20 666