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.