FIFA Executive Committee agrees major governance reforms & Ethics structure
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Chaired by FIFA President Blatter, the FIFA Executive Committee convened at the Home of FIFA in Zurich on 29 and 30 March for its first meeting of the year and agreed to major reforms of its governance, in particular relating to ethics, audit and compliance.  

The chairmen of the Task Force Ethics Committee, Claudio Sulser (Switzerland), the Task Force Revision of Statutes, Dr Theo Zwanziger (Germany), the Task Force Transparency & Compliance, Frank Van Hattum (New Zealand FA) as well as of the Independent Governance Committee (IGC), Prof. Mark Pieth (Switzerland), presented their reports and proposals to the Executive Committee members.

Subsequently, the FIFA Executive Committee agreed on proposals to be submitted to the FIFA Congress. The FIFA Legal Committee has now been tasked with drafting the appropriate legal wording for these proposals so that they can be put on the Congress agenda, which has to be completed one month before the Congress convenes in Budapest (Hungary) on 24 and 25 May 2012.

The agreed proposals include in particular:

-       New structure of FIFA’s Ethics Committee with two chambers (investigatory and adjudicatory)

-       Scrutinising of specific candidates for office bearers holding functions within FIFA as an official by the Ethics Committee, performing the role of a nomination unit

-       Audit and Compliance Committee: increased scope of responsibility of the Audit Committee by adding compliance to its activities

-       Immediate appointment by the 2012 FIFA Congress of independent chairmen for the Ethics Committee and the Audit and Compliance Committee (if the above proposals are approved)

-       Co-optation of a woman onto the FIFA Executive Committee at the 2012 FIFA Congress; formal election in 2013

-       FIFA membership in principle permitted directly (and no longer after a period of two years) if an association is already a member of its confederation

-       Integration into the FIFA Statutes in 2013 of last year’s Congress decision that the host of the FIFA World Cup™ will be appointed by the FIFA Congress on the basis of a shortlist submitted by the FIFA Executive Committee

-       Self-reform of the International Football Association Board

The draft Statutes prepared by the Task Force Revision of Statutes will also be submitted to the Congress for discussion.

Other items presented by the IGC and the Task Forces will be further discussed according to the roadmap.

Regarding the FIFA finances, the Executive approved the 2011 Financial Report, with a positive annual result of USD 36 million (revenue of USD 1,070 million and expenses of USD 1,034 million). 75% of the expenses were spent on FIFA events and football development projects. The Executive Committee also approved the 2013 FIFA expense budget (USD 994 million).

Furthermore, the Executive fully supported a major innovation, namely worldwide player insurance on behalf of member associations. In short, this means that, starting in August 2012, FIFA will insure all players involved in all “A” national team games listed in the international match calendar worldwide. This proposal will now be submitted to the upcoming FIFA Congress for approval. The provisional budget for this project amounts to USD 100 million.

Several TV broadcasting deals in Europe - with ARD/ZDF (Germany) for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, SVT (Scandinavia) and EBU (for 37 European countries) for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups - have been approved as a result of the European tender.

The proposal of the working group for the international match calendar, comprising FIFA, the six confederations, clubs, leagues and FIFPro, regarding the 2015-2018 period has been approved as follows:

-       Structured in two-year cycles

-       9 double dates organised in international windows lasting from Monday to Tuesday of the following week

-       1 additional double date in June 2016 for all confederations except UEFA

-       The international windows would be arranged as follows:

2014/2015 Sep / Oct / Nov / Mar / Jun
2015/2016 Sep / Oct / Nov / Mar + Jun (non-UEFA)
2016/2017 Sep / Oct / Nov / Mar / Jun
2017/2018 Sep / Oct / Nov / Mar

Other items:

-       Olympic Football Tournaments: the Executive decided that the release of the U-23 players by clubs will be compulsory.

-       Medical: cooling breaks in FIFA competition matches in hot and humid conditions (Wet bulb globe temperature - WBGT - over 31/32°C) have been approved.

-       Member associations:

Indonesia: the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) has been given until 15 June 2012 to settle the issues at stake, notably the control of the breakaway league, failing which the case will be referred to the FIFA Emergency Committee for suspension.

South Sudan: the Football Association of South Sudan (SSFA), admitted as the 54th member of the Confederation of African Football as recently as late February, cannot, under the current FIFA Statutes, immediately become a FIFA member. However, should the current proposed amendments to the FIFA Statutes be adopted by the 2012 FIFA Congress, the SSFA could be admitted by the Congress this year.

The two-day meeting was attended by new CONMEBOL member Marco del Nero (Brazil) as well as CONCACAF’s Jeffrey Webb (Cayman Islands), who was invited ahead of his formal appointment expected in May. The next FIFA Executive Committee meeting will be held in Budapest on 21 and 22 May 2012, ahead of the 62nd FIFA Congress.