No going back for FIFA

PA Sport
Sepp Blatter
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Sepp Blatter

FIFA have been warned it would be "a catastrophe" if they fail to follow through with the package of reforms announced by Sepp Blatter.

The FIFA president revealed on Friday executive committee members will in future be vetted, announced a two-year timetable for reforms and said a controversial court dossier naming three senior officials who received kickbacks would be released.

Pressure group Transparency International, who have been advising FIFA on the changes, said the pledges now had to be followed through. The group's sports adviser Sylvia Schenk labelled the announcement of the timetable of reform as "a very good result". She added: "But it is a first step. A starting point. After today they can't go back. It will be a catastrophe if they go back."

The new task forces will look at the FIFA statutes, the ethics committee, and transparency and compliance. Blatter also announced that the infamous ISL court dossier will be opened and handed to an independent body to study to see if any officials should face action.

For the last two years FIFA have helped blocked the publication of the court documents but Blatter told a press conference in Zurich that the dossier would now be handed over. Blatter said: "The executive committee has at my request agreed that in the meeting of December 16/17 we will reopen this file.

"If there are any measures to be taken they will not be taken by the executive committee - it is not the body that can take sanctions or release anyone - so we will give this file to an independent organisation outside of FIFA so they can delve into this file and extract its conclusions and present them to us."

Blatter added: "The court has said there are people involved but no Swiss people - only foreign people."

BBC Panorama reported in May that the court file shows Brazil's FIFA member Ricardo Teixeira and former FIFA president Joao Havelange received payments. Paraguay's FIFA member Nicolas Leoz was named in the court in 2008 as having received 130,000 US dollars.

The reform timetable will see three task forces set up to propose and implement reforms over the next two years, and they will report to a new watchdog body called the 'good governance committee'.

The good governance committee will be made up of 15 people and made up of people from within football and outside the game. Blatter also confirmed his proposals made at the FIFA Congress in June for all 208 national associations to vote on World Cup hosts, instead of just the executive committee, and for a woman to be co-opted onto the executive committee.

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