October 21 – The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is poised to beef up its governance procedures with a raft of reform proposals to include an AFC whistleblower policy, new anti-bribery and corruption measures and, crucially, a commercial strategy paper for future rights sales.
It is this last strategy document that will likely prove the most important for the AFC going forward as it will not only protect revenues but also enable the AFC to grow its revenues in a region where rights growth has been undervalued.
The AFC is now starting to attract big brand sponsor interest – Tag Heuer being the latest sponsor to sign on – and its protecting these revenues and ensuring that they grow in line with market value that are at the core of the requirement for the AFC.
Chair of the AFC Governance Reform Task Force, HRH Prince Abdullah Ibni Sultan Ahmad Shah, said: “The AFC has come a long way over recent years to modernise its governance structures. In line with the AFC Vision and Mission, the AFC is now finalising and implementing many recommendations that are raising its governance framework to the top level amongst international sports organisations.”
The task force recommendations will now go before the AFC Executive Committee.
In a statement the AFC said that the task force had reviewed “the status of the reforms currently being implemented by FIFA in order to implement or adapt those that are not already in place in the AFC.
“Such reforms include:
* introduction of term limits for Executive Committee members (three terms of four years maximum)
* publication of the AFC’s financial statements, including compensation
* fully independent judicial bodies, as well as the possible creation of a new judicial body to deal with club eligibility matters
* preparation of a detailed AFC Ethics and Compliance Training Programme for all employees, officers and committee members to be implemented in 2017
“Finally, the task force also reviewed several other governance issues, including:
* planned increased controls on financial assistance to AFC Member Associations
* three internal audits that have been conducted into the HR, finance and procurement functions inside the AFC
* double-checking that several of the non-priority recommendations from the 2012 PricewaterhouseCoopers Governance Report have been implemented, including:
+ faster preparation and reporting of the annual accounts more detailed
+ Terms of Reference for AFC committees Limits of Authority policy
+ clarity of strategic objectives and targets amendments to the AFC
+ staff benefits and entitlements Code of Ethics for staff expansion of
+ Finance Committee role regarding Executive Committee and standing
+ committee member benefits improvements to the AFC staff performance
+ appraisal framework
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