The largest corruption threat to football is the one that its administrators frequently seem most reluctant to face aggressively. Match-fixing cannot be swept under the carpet but the anti-match-fixing fight does need more funding and the acceptance of objective benchmarks to evaluate the independence of the governing bodies in the front line.
Dr Laila Mintas
The FIFA Executive Committee decided in its meeting on 20 July 2015 to establish the ‘Task Force 2016 – FIFA Reform Committee’ (Reform Committee) which is currently working on its recommendations on how to change FIFA. The Reform Committee consists of 12 people, two appointed by each of the six FIFA Confederations and is chaired by Dr François Carrard. The Reform Committee will first present its proposal to the Executive Committee which will approve and submit it to the FIFA Congress where the 209 member associations will decide about it in February 2016.
FIFA has been the subject of relentless criticism and not only since the recent scandals shook the entire football world. There is no doubt that FIFA needs to instigate many-faceted, major reforms of its administration, procedures and structure that will transform different areas of the Football Governing Body’s fundament in order to recapture its credibility and reputation. Up to now, such fundamental alterations have not been visible.
In 2009 the German speed skater Claudia Pechstein intended to participate in the World Speed Skating Championships organized by ISU (International Skating Union). A condition of entry was that all participating athletes were obliged to sign an arbitration agreement providing for arbitration before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). This agreement was in line with the regulations of the ISU which contain – as do most of the regulations of the Olympic International Federations including FIFA – an arbitration clause that acknowledges CAS as the competent court.
In the first of a regular series of columns on sports law and sports integrity, Dr Laila Mintas, CONCACAF Director of Integrity, examines the scale and threat of match manipulation to football globally, the difficulties encountered in effectively fighting it, and the urgent need for countries to bring in national legislation to battle the organised crime syndicates.