FIFA President Sepp Blatter
announced his long-awaited anti-corruption plan on Friday
including a pledge to re-open the case into the collapse of
former marketing partner ISL.
Blatter, re-elected for a fourth term in June which he says
will be his last, also announced the creation of a new "good
governance committee" featuring figures from outside FIFA, and
three task forces.
The committee would include representatives of clubs,
leagues, players, referees and women's football, among others.
One task force would look into changes to the FIFA statutes,
a second would look at changes to the ethics committee and a
third would be responsible for introducing changes to make FIFA
These would be added to an existing task force aimed at
making the sport itself more attractive in time for the 2014
All proposals were passed by the FIFA Executive Committee on
Friday and Blatter said he wanted concrete results by the time
of the FIFA Congress in June 2013.
However Blatter said that he had abandoned his idea of
involving Henry Kissinger, the 88-year-old former U.S. Secretary
of State, to act as an independent watchdog in one of FIFA's
"I have to apologise because I did mention some big names
at the Congress, but the former Secretary of State will not be
in this governance committee, because we want to have someone
who is active in politics now - a member of parliament or a
minister, involved in the day-to-day work."
At the time the FIFA President also mentioned opera singer
Placido Domingo as a possible member of the watchdog.
Blatter continued: "I think we have been rather ambitious in
our road map, its a Formula One model, but we need to move
"I feel very fulfilled, very happy that the executive
committee is completely in step with what we want to achieve
with the national associations.
"We are moving forward with a FIFA that, thanks to the good
governance committee, which is a bit of a watchdog and will
allow us in 2013, maybe even before, to present an image
slightly better than the one we have currently.
"We want a fair image, which shows the will of the FIFA
leadership to not dwell on the past, to face up to its problems
and find solutions. Tackling problems isn't enough, we need to
"When FIFA is attacked, the president is attacked and I have
to defend the institution and myself, I hope this transparency
will help us put our past concerns behind us."
Regarding the ISL case, he said: "This is an issue which has
been raised by the national associations and members of FIFA,
the executive committee of FIFA has decided that this case
should be opened.
"We will give this file therefore to an independent
organisation on the outside of FIFA so they can delve into this
file and present them to us, that is all I can tell you on this
famous ISL file," he said.
FIFA added in a statement: "However, this can only be done
after a thorough legal analysis because of the complexity of the
matter. The case will be opened at the next meeting of the
executive committee in December 2011.
ISL went bankrupt in 2001. BBC's Panorama programme said
last November that documents relating to a criminal
investigation into the ISL collapse are believed to show that
senior FIFA officials were paid kickbacks in return for granting
ISL lucrative World Cup television and sponsorship rights during
Panorama named them as Ricardo Teixeira, Issa Hayatou and
Nicolas Leoz, all executive committee members. The three have
denied any wrongdoing.
Teixeira is president of the Brazilian Football
Confederation and the 2014 World Cup organising committee.
Anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International, which
has been critical of FIFA in the past, gave a cautious welcome
to the announcement.
"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 adviser for sport.
"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
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