FIFA to set up task force for reforms

Football's governing body, embroiled in controversy, also sets election date for next February to choose new president.

    FIFA will set up a new task force to propose reforms aimed at cleaning itself up after a series of scandals over the past few years, football's governing body said.

    The proposed reforms would include integrity checks for the all-powerful 25-member executive committee, term limits for top officials and public disclosure of their earnings.

    Similar reforms were proposed by an earlier independent governance committee set up in 2011 but were quietly shelved three years later.

    However, FIFA President Sepp Blatter said that "85 percent" of reforms initiated in the previous cycle had been carried out including a more powerful ethics committee.

    FIFA said in a statement that the task force's job would be to present "concrete and comprehensive reform proposals" to the next executive committee meeting in late September.

    FIFA sets election date

    The election to select a new president of world football\'s  governing body FIFA will be held on February 26 in Zurich.

    An "extraordinary elective congress" with all 209 member associations invited will decide on the next president of the governing body.

    Sepp Blatter announced on June 2 that he was standing down, just four days after winning a fifth term with an election victory at a congress overshadowed by the arrest of seven football officials.

    Blatter has been president since 1998.

    This in turn would make recommendations to a FIFA Congress in February which has the power to alter the federation's statutes.

    "My responsibility and mission is to make sure that when I come to the end of my career at the end of February, we can say that we have started to rebuild the reputation of FIFA," said Blatter.

    However, he declined to immediately declare his earnings after twice being challenged to do so during a media conference.

    FIFA said the new task force would include two representatives each from the European, North and Central America and Caribbean, African and Asian regional confederations and once each from the South American and Oceania confederations.

    The task force will be chaired "by a neutral chairman who should be appointed in consultation with the confederations' presidents," added FIFA.

    FIFA said that one important change had already been made in May when it revised the bidding regulations for the hosting of future World Cups.

    Potential host nations would have to meet a number of extra criteria, including the provisions of the UN Guiding Principles on business and human rights.

    FIFA has been under pressure to carry out reforms following a series of scandals over the past few years.

    Several executive committee members have either been banned for unethical behaviour or resigned while under investigation.

    Football's governing body was thrown into further turmoil in May when 14 sports marketing executives and officials, including several from FIFA, were indicted in the US on bribery, money laundering and wire fraud charges.

    Seven of those accused were arrested by Swiss police in a dawn raid on a luxury Zurich hotel two days before the FIFA Congress where Blatter was re-elected for a fifth term as president.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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