April 1 – FIFA president Gianni Infantino addressed the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group on the final day of its video conferencing summit outlining FIFA’s battle troops in the area and offering the co-operation of the organisation.
“It’s crucial that the G20 takes an interest in these matters and gives a clear policy direction because football is much more than just a sport. Sport in general is so important for our society, economically and socially, but also in terms of education. We are here to offer our collaboration, we are here to offer our part as a player of a global team to fight corruption,” said Infantino.
Under Italian leadership, the G20 has introduced corruption in sport for the first time on to the body’s anti-corruption agenda.
Infantino once again was quick to point out the corruption-riddled organisation he won control over but failed to make any mention of the Swiss criminal investigation into his own activities both before and after he was elected.
A FFIA press release said that Infantino shared “the lessons that the new FIFA has learned through its post-2016 reforms, as well as from the corruption scandal that brought down the previous administration.” He made no reference to the reforms that had already begun in 2015 following the FBI swoop that saw seven arrests in Switzerland and the unveiling of more than 40 indictments of FIFA officials.
Nor did he reference that the FIFA Ethics process was previously an independent function of FIFA but since 2016 has seen its officials appointed by FIFA executives and has since been heavily criticised as being used as a political tool by Infantino and his lieutenants.
Infantino listed 11 key reforms that he said were designed “to tackle corruption, to bring back accountability in FIFA, in football more generally, and to safeguard the integrity of football and, of course, FIFA.”
In particular, those reforms were:
- a fully transparent bidding process for the FIFA World Cup;
- the separation of political and executive powers;
- terms limits and eligibility checks for elected officials;
- transparency of finances and compensation;
- a transparent and centrally supervised transfer system;
- audited football development investment with accountability, which includes a five-time increase in such investment (USD1.8bn) when compared to the past;
- internal and external compliance overseen by an independent Audit and Compliance Committee;
- judicial bodies guided by a new FIFA Code of Ethics;
- strict tender processes for transparent procurement;
- the promotion of women to decision-making positions in football administration; and
- the formalised protection of human rights, and the protection of minors and children in sport, as it is important that our children are in a safe environment.
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