Sports governing bodies play a fundamental role in society and therefore adherence to good governance principles is fundamental for the fulfilment of their statutory objectives and broader social mission. As football’s world governing body, FIFA is firmly committed to the principles of good governance, transparency and zero tolerance towards any wrongdoing – whether it is in sporting contests or any other context of association football. FIFA has adapted its structures and procedures in order to meet the evolving needs of the game’s governance and respond to the increasing complexity of its functions and operations.
Ever since 1998, FIFA has progressively been putting in place a series of measures, focusing, in particular, on internal controls and transparency (e.g. comprehensive annual financial reporting according to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS); annual audits by KPMG; the COSO concept for internal controls; a budgeting process; tender procedures for all major procurement contracts).
Furthermore, given the increasing scope of FIFA’s activities, at the request of FIFA President Blatter, an extensive governance reform process was launched in the context of the 61st FIFA Congress in Zurich on 1 June 2011.
A two-year road map outlining the stages and timelines of the governance reform process between October 2011 and the FIFA Congress in May 2013 was established and communicated transparently from the start and at all stages of the process.
A clear structure was put in place with representatives from the football community as well as experts in specialised areas such as governance, compliance and anti-corruption. The Independent Governance Committee (IGC) was set up – led by Professor Mark Pieth – with the support of four Task Forces (Task Force FIFA Ethics Committee; Task Force Transparency and Compliance; Task Force Revision of Statutes; and Task Force Football 2014) with the mandate to propose recommendations in the areas of governance, ethics, compliance and other amendments to the FIFA Statutes until the FIFA Congress 2013.
The FIFA governance reform process 2011-2013 resulted in enhanced measures and structures in the following areas:
|Ethics and Integrity|
|Compliance and Control|
|Other Governance Reforms|
|The International Football Association Board (The IFAB)|
- Improvement in the consultation process (two new advisory panels: Technical and Football)
- Greater transparency in the decision-making process (own website, publication of documents, etc.)
- Constitution of The IFAB as an association under the Swiss Civil Code
As no consensus had been reached among the FIFA member associations and the confederations on the reform item “age limit” / “term of office”, the 63rd FIFA Congress decided to postpone this issue until the 64th FIFA Congress in 2014 so that it could be further analysed and a concrete proposal could be submitted. In the meantime, Executive Committee member Dr Theo Zwanziger was mandated to further examine this item and submit a proposal to the FIFA Executive Committee. On 11 June 2014, the 64th FIFA Congress voted against the principle of introducing age limits and limits of terms of office.
Based on the extent of the measures implemented so far, FIFA considers the reform process to be successfully accomplished. However, FIFA remains committed to the principles of good governance and transparency and will continue to adapt its structures and procedures where relevant and on the basis of the evolving needs of the organisation and the game.