Scrapping exco part of Fifa's reform proposal

Fifa is facing unprecedented pressure to reform following the May indictment by US authorities of nine current and former officials on bribery-related charges.
Fifa is facing unprecedented pressure to reform following the May indictment by US authorities of nine current and former officials on bribery-related charges. PHOTO: AFP

ZURICH • An official overseeing an overhaul at Fifa has produced a radical blueprint for reform of football's scandal-hit governing body, including the abolition of its powerful executive committee, according to a person with knowledge of the plan.

Domenico Scala, the independent chairman of Fifa's audit and compliance committee, proposes replacing the executive committee with a dual structure. There would be a management committee including independent professionals charged with ensuring Fifa's day-to-day running, and a governing council playing more of an oversight role, the source said.

The governing council, which would have a lot less power than the current 24-man executive committee, would be elected by Fifa's Congress, which consists of representatives from its 209 member associations around the world.

Fifa is facing unprecedented pressure to reform following the May indictment by US authorities of nine current and former officials on bribery-related charges. Many of them had served on the executive committee or in other Fifa positions.

But the proposed reforms are likely to face resistance from many within Fifa and from the six regional confederations, who currently wield influence because they nominate members of the executive committee. The move would effectively remove the direct link between the continental confederations and Fifa's power structure.

A new reform committee, headed by former International Olympic Committee director general Francois Carrard, could take a different view.

And although Scala is supposed to be overseeing its efforts, he is not in a position to control it.

The outcome of the Feb 26 vote to elect a new president to replace scandal-hit incumbent Sepp Blatter will also likely have an impact on any proposals for major organisational change.

Scala, who is the person charged by Blatter with implementing reforms, presented the plan to the Fifa executive committee at its meeting in Zurich on July 20, the source added.

His reform plan also includes the introduction of term limits for all elected officials in Fifa.

They would be limited to a maximum of three four-year-terms and Fifa would also then demand that national football associations and confederations bring in the same limits - effectively spreading the practice to other levels of the game's governance, according to the source.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 19, 2015, with the headline 'Scrapping exco part of Fifa's reform proposal'. Print Edition | Subscribe