Dear readers of insideworldfootball
Category: Sepp Blatter
Published on Friday, 04 November 2011 15:37
On the occasion of the 13th edition of the International Football Arena (IFA) conference in Zurich, on November 7 and 8, I will present updates and reflections that underline our road towards a different FIFA. The 200 opinion leaders from around the world, gathered at the IFA, will witness our determination to remedy the ills of the past, and how we intend to improve the way we do business. Through this column, I want to share some of the thoughts presented in Zurich with a much broader public so as to stress the relevance I give to the changes that are presently happening at FIFA.
Clearly, football's governing body, while continuing to take its mandate more seriously than ever - to administer, and successfully administer the world game - has had a rough time of late.
It would be disingenuous of me not to acknowledge reality, and the fact that we have been fighting an uphill struggle to calm nerves, initiate urgently needed reforms and at the same time adhere to a sense of reason during the stormiest of times.
FIFA's last 100 days were among the most difficult in it's over 100-year history.
While we acknowledge that, as well as the need for change and the urgent need for sweeping reforms, we must not jump from one (wrong) conclusion to the next, but review, recognise and reform with care and in depth.
I am quite aware of the ongoing criticism voiced by many, a criticism that occasionally degenerates into personal and below the belt attacks. So be it. I guess we have to live with bad style just like we have to live with our own reality, namely the fact that mistakes were made, some of them horrific.
It takes time to shake the tree until all bad apples have fallen to the ground. Even if some of them refuse to fall at first.
What I want to make quite clear, is that by December of this year, we shall present further facts, this time with names attached, on how we want to tackle the necessary changes in the governance of world football. We shall seek to remedy past ills lastingly and offer solutions that bite and important improvements that take effect without further ado.
I firmly believe the team members we have selected to help accomplish the job at hand, are not only solid and dedicated but also exceptionally professional people. And I also want you to know that today, we scrutinise everything, no matter where the chips may fall: be that within FIFA or on its periphery around the world.
The demands of fans, players, clubs, leagues and associations alike are important to us; they must and will be considered. We owe the global public the type of transparency that we have not practiced in all areas in the past. That was wrong.
Within weeks, I shall be presenting factual and practical change that will increase and help remedy FIFA's credibility and become a guarantor for better corporate governance, solid compliance and lasting structural improvement.
Having said that, we must recognise that we cannot dictate certain important improvements: FIFA's parliament, its shareholders if you will, the Congress, must approve some of the sweeping changes we propose.
FIFA must not be reduced to the smallest common denominator: it's President. Our organisation is composed of a dedicated team of over 350 men and women in Zurich.
They work hard and they all deserve our respect. But, above all, FIFA is ultimately nothing but the expression of the will of its more than 208 Member Associations around the world.
The admittedly urgent changes that must be approved by the FIFA congress include a new procedure to elect members to our board, the executive committee, as well as a new procedure to determine a future FIFA World Cup host and venue. These kind of topics require a vote by FIFA's Congress because it requires a change of our statutes to put them into force. Our lawyers, internal and external, are working on those statute changes as I write these lines, so as to be ready to present my administration's proposals to congress within the time-frame prescribed by the FIFA statutes.
Other measures, such as the very substantial reorganisation of an independent Ethics Committee and the creation of a committee for corporate governance and oversight, can be prepared by management. And we are in the final stages of doing just that: in a few weeks from now, at the December meeting of the Executive Committee, I shall offer names and new structures to the public, as promised.
In brief: I have initiated relevant and powerful change without "ifs" and "whens".
FIFA remains committed to walking the walk and won't get stuck in solely talking the talk. By December, this will become clear for all to see. Until then, I invite everybody to bear with us so that we can clean house and come back to the public with facts that allow FIFA to enter a new decade of doing business. And never again revert to doing "business as usual".