World Cup - UEFA wants 'concrete' changes to FIFA soon

Fri, 17 Jun 11:10:00 2011

UEFA expects to see significant changes to the way FIFA is run within the next three months.

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Gianni Infantino (pictured), general secretary of European football's governing body said he hopes for "concrete" measures to be taken by the world game's authority, which has been beset by bribery and corruption allegations over the past year.

FIFA pledged major efforts towards establishing better governance at its congress on June 1, the same time as president Sepp Blatter was once again re-elected for another term in office unopposed.

Infantino said: "The UEFA executive committee has taken note of the will of FIFA to take concrete and effective measures for good governance. It hopes to see results within three months and it following the situation closely.

"We want whatever it is FIFA chooses to do to be concrete."

Blatter has promised a more transparent and democratic approach to the way FIFA operates in the wake of controversies surrounding the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar and several executive committee members, including former presidential rival Mohamed bin Hammam and vice-president Jack Warner, being suspended due to bribery allegations.

Meanwhile, the European governing body also put in place measures to combat corruption close to home in the 2011 edition of its disciplinary regulations - which also include a new sanction for players deliberately incurring yellow cards in UEFA competitions.

The issue raised its head when Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho was handed a touchline ban and two of his players, Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos, were fined after the pair received second bookings for conspicuous time-wasting in the Champions League group game against Ajax.

Barcelona's Andres Iniesta also faced allegations of a similar offence during his side's quarter-final win over Shakhtar Donetsk but escaped punishment. Players found guilty of the offence in future will see their ban extended to two matches.

Infantino said: "Up to now, this kind of conduct has been penalised with a fine, but now there will be an additional match of suspension on top of the one automatically given after an accumulation of yellow cards."

On the anti-corruption issue, he continued: "We are strengthening our rules with regard to the whole cancer of match-fixing, manipulation and corruption by foreseeing measures giving the possibility to the disciplinary bodies and inspectors to co-operate much more closely with the public authorities.

"We are co-operating already, but we did not have the legal base - we will now have it much more clearly."

Eurosport / PA Sport

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