The Executive Committee has today unanimously approved a set of proposals from the 2016 FIFA Reform Committee to pave the way for significant and much-needed changes to FIFA’s governance structure. The recommendations will be put before the Congress as proposed statutory changes for approval at its extraordinary session in Zurich on 26 February.

“These reforms are moving FIFA towards improved governance, greater transparency and more accountability. They mark a milestone on our path towards restoring FIFA’s credibility as a modern, trusted and professional sports organisation. This signals the beginning of a culture shift at FIFA. It is important to recognise that today’s recommendations build on the foundations established by the IGC in 2011 under Mark Pieth’s leadership, which included the creation of an independent chairman on the Audit and Compliance Committee and splitting the Ethics Committee into investigative and adjudicatory chambers,” explained FIFA’s Acting President Issa Hayatou. “As the February Congress approaches, I want to encourage all presidential candidates to embrace this spirit of reform and, as they campaign, to make clear their plans on how they would help FIFA enact these and other reform measures, should they be elected.”

The main reforms to be passed on to the Congress are:

·        Term limits: maximum term limits of three terms of four years for the FIFA President as well as all members of the FIFA Council (see below), the Audit and Compliance Committee and the judicial bodies

 ·        Separation of political and management functions: clear separation of “political” and management functions. The FIFA Council (replacing the FIFA Executive Committee) will be responsible for setting the organisation’s overall strategic direction, while the general secretariat will oversee the operational and commercial actions required to effectively execute that strategy.

o   The members of the Council will be elected by the member associations of the respective region under FIFA’s electoral regulations, with a FIFA Review Committee to conduct comprehensive and enhanced integrity checks

o   Concrete steps to increase the role of women in the governance of football with a minimum of one female representative elected as a Council member per confederation

 ·        Diversity: promotion of women as an explicit statutory objective of FIFA to create a more diverse decision-making environment and culture

 ·        Independent committee members: key financial decisions to be made by the Finance, Development and Governance Committees, which will have a minimum number of independent members and whose activities will be audited by the fully independent Audit and Compliance Committee

 ·        Enhanced committee efficiency: reduction of standing committees from 26 to nine, with increased participation of the football community, which will provide efficiency while ensuring that all member associations are involved in a more meaningful and effective way

·        Integrity checks: compulsory and comprehensive integrity checks for all members of FIFA’s standing committees, conducted by an independent FIFA review committee

·        Greater transparency and inclusion through broader stakeholder representation: creation of a dedicated Football Stakeholders Committee to include members representing key stakeholders in the game, such as players, clubs and leagues

Building on FIFA’s commitment to human rights, the Executive Committee has recommended that the Congress approve the implementation of a new article to the FIFA statutes that commits FIFA to respecting all internationally recognised human rights and striving to promote the protection of these rights.

The Executive Committee also discussed the proposal from the 2016 FIFA Reform Committee to increase the number of teams at the FIFA World Cup™ finals from 32 to 40. There was no decision on this proposal, but it will be further debated.

Further key elements of the meeting:

·        The Acting President also reiterated that FIFA has continued to fulfil its mission of supporting and promoting the game of football around the world. In the last six months alone, FIFA has successfully staged four major competitions, including the FIFA Women’s World Cup™, as well as held the Preliminary Draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup™, completed preparations for the FIFA Club World Cup, which kicks off on in Japan 10 December, and run more than 660 technical training courses and programmes on development since the end of May 2015.

 ·        The kick-off times for the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ and the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017, both to be played in Russia, have also been confirmed.

·        The Executive Committee also:

o   ratified the decision of the FIFA Emergency Committee

§  to increase the number of members of the normalisation committee for the Benin Football Association from five to seven

§  to extend the mandate of the Football Association of Maldives (FAM) normalisation committee to 31 December 2015 to enable the FAM to complete the registration process for their statutes in order to organise an elective Congress

o   decided to

§  endorse the recommendation to establish an ad-hoc reform committee for the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI), in which the Indonesian government should participate

§  to establish a new normalisation committee for the Togolese Football Association (FTF), with the aim of ensuring the adoption of new statutes and the organisation of elections by 20 February 2016 at the latest