DISGRACED world football governing body FIFA has announced a raft of reforms in a bid to redeem its reputation – deeply tainted due to corruption.
Among the planned changes are limiting the presidency and top official roles to three four-year terms and improving the role of women in the male-dominated organisation.
The proposals from the body’s reform committee will be proffered up to the FIFA Congress for statutory approval at an extraordinary session in Zürich on 26 February.
FIFA’s acting president, Issa Hayatou – in place for 25 years – said: “These reforms are moving FIFA towards improved governance, greater transparency and more accountability.
“They mark a milestone on our path towards restoring FIFA’s credibility as a modern, trusted and professional sports organisation. This signals the beginning of a culture shift at FIFA.”
Another key area up for reform is a diminished role for the executive committee. Meanwhile, financial decision-making will be made by the finance, development and governance committees, which will have a minimum number of independent members and whose activities will be assessed by its audit and compliance committee.
The executive committee has also agreed to defer making a decision on whether to expand the World Cup from its current 32 to 40 teams.
Other proposed moves include compulsory and comprehensive integrity checks for all members of FIFA’s standing committees by an independent FIFA review committee, and a dedicated ‘football stakeholders committee’ – to include players, clubs and leagues – will also be introduced.
The proposals were announced on the same day that Swiss police, acting on behalf of US investigators, arrested two FIFA vie-presidents from the Americas who were attending the Zürich meeting, on suspicion of trousering millions in bribes over TV rights.
The proposals will be voted on at the congress in February when Sepp Blatter, the suspended FIFA president and former general secretary to the Swiss Ice Hockey Association, will be substituted.
FIFA auditor KPMG announced in September that it has launched an internal probe into its Swiss arm’s audits of world football’s governing body.