Bility pledges to kick out secret ballots

Musa Bility intends to give more power to member associations to run the game if he becomes Fifa chief.
Musa Bility intends to give more power to member associations to run the game if he becomes Fifa chief.PHOTO: AFP

Monrovia - Liberian Fifa presidential hopeful Musa Bility has vowed to clean up the scandal-hit governing body of world football, promising a clampdown on corruption by ending secret ballots and decentralising power.

The 48-year-old, who has headed his country's football association since 2010, on Thursday became the second person after Brazilian legend Zico to announce his intention to succeed Sepp Blatter.

He said the secret ballot system to elect Fifa presidents was the "number one source of corruption" in the organisation, pledging to introduce open voting if given a mandate to lead.

"The secret ballot belongs to politics. I am going to make sure that football is transparent."

Blatter announced in May he would step down as president after 17 years in the job following Fifa becoming embroiled in a series of corruption allegations.

Elections for the presidency - which normally take place in the year after a World Cup - are expected to be held between December this year and March next year.

Bility said that if he were elected, he would devolve powers from Fifa's executive committee in Zurich to give member associations across the world more say in the running of the global game.

The body is Fifa's main decision-making body and its president, eight vice-presidents and 15 members are elected by the congress.

Bility also vowed to ensure the budget would "become transparent on the Internet (so) that every member association will be able to view" although the governing body already does this.

Bility, who has an economics degree, has been involved in his own controversy, having been banned briefly from football in 2013 after the Confederation of African Football accused him of breaking confidentiality rules.

But he also boasts a track record as a successful businessman and diplomat as head of Liberian petroleum importer Srimex, chairman of a government land commission and an aide to Amos Sawyer, the head of the national unity government in the early 1990s.

"It is a difficult time for Fifa so... it is in difficult moments that great leaders emerge," Bility said.

AFP

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 21, 2015, with the headline 'Bility pledges to kick out secret ballots'. Print Edition | Subscribe