FIFA – An Independent Reform Commission

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat

The corruption scandals plaguing FIFA are the result of a systemic failure of governance over many years. The criminal charges filed against FIFA and Confederation officials have tarnished the organisation and those associated with it. The failure by FIFA to recognise the severity of the problem, and its rejection of previous recommendations of reform, demonstrate that it is unable to reform itself.

There have been many calls for an Independent Reform Commission (IRC) – this is how it could be established:

Terms of Reference – for the Chair of the IRC to finalise

  1. To review and make recommendations on the governance structure of FIFA to minimise the risks of corruption and ensure transparency and accountability.
  2. To review and develop the Statutes and Codes of FIFA accordingly.
  3. To review and make recommendations on urgent anti-corruption measures required.
  4. To review and make recommendations on the bidding, awarding and hosting criteria for all current and future major FIFA events including responsibilities towards human rights, anti-corruption and environmental and social sustainability.
  5. To determine and oversee the composition and recruitment of the Commission so that it is able to reflect the interests of all stakeholders, ensuring each member is an independent person of high repute.  
  6. To appoint independent expert advisers as may be required.
  7. To make public interim and annual reports and records of Commission meetings.
  8. To make public the final report of the Commission

The FIFA Executive Committee is required to:

  1. To agree and abide by the terms of reference as set out above.
  2. To provide funding for an independent secretariat with an initial budget.
  3. To allocate to the secretariat the budget as determined by the Chair of the IRC.
  4. To fully co-operate with the Commission in the provision of documents and witnesses as required.
  5. To indemnify the Chair, Commission and secretariat.

The Secretariat

  1. To be an independent organisation with appropriate expertise and international standing.
  2. To establish an independent panel of stakeholders to recruit the Chair.
  3. To have in place transparent and accountable governance and reporting procedures.
  4. To make public all expenditure in line with best practice and report accordingly to the Chair.


  1.  The Chair, Members of the Commission, appointments panel and secretariat must have no conflict of interest in relation to FIFA, including any payment or commercial interest in the past or currently in respect of them or any members of their immediate family.
  2.  A condition of participation would be that the Chair, the Members of the Commission and the members of the secretariat undertake not to accept any paid position with FIFA or receive fees from FIFA for a period of five years after the commencement of the Commission’s work.


What makes this different from previous attempts?

An independent panel will recruit the Chair not FIFA. It is proposed that the Chair would be a person of high standing such as a former leader of an international organisation or a judicial figure of repute.

The Chair and Commission will be supported by an independent secretariat and not FIFA.


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Los países con las puntuaciones más altas en el IPC, como Dinamarca, Suiza e Islandia, no son inmunes a la corrupción. Si bien el IPC muestra que los sectores públicos en estos países están entre los menos corruptos del mundo, la corrupción existe, especialmente en casos de lavado de dinero y otras formas de corrupción en el sector privado.

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Problèmes au sommet

Les pays les mieux classés sur l’IPC comme le Danemark, la Suisse et l’Islande ne sont pas à l’abri de la corruption. Bien que l’IPC montre que les secteurs publics de ces pays sont parmi les moins corrompus au monde, la corruption existe toujours, en particulier dans les cas de blanchiment d’argent et d’autres formes de corruption du secteur privé.

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