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Informative note on eligibility checks

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In accordance with the FIFA Statutes and the FIFA Governance Regulations, the Review Committee conducts eligibility checks in respect of candidates for and incumbent members of FIFA bodies.

Based on a number of eligibility checks it has conducted during the past months, the Review Committee has elaborated certain general standards, which it has summarised in the following informative note.

This note, which was sent to the confederations and member associations on 23 September 2016, summarises the more important criteria resulting from the cases already decided by the Review Committee while intending to provide the relevant bodies and potential candidates with additional guidance regarding future decisions on who to appoint or whether to run or apply for a particular position. Its publication also aims to promote increased transparency and accountability regarding the work of FIFA and give football stakeholders and the general public an insight into the new eligibility mechanism and its practical implementation.

In developing its criteria for interpreting the relevant FIFA rules, the Review Committee has been mindful of the guidelines resulting from the decisions taken by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in a small number of cases of relevance for conducting eligibility checks. Based on the considerations of CAS and the regulatory framework, the Review Committee has developed certain general standards while acknowledging that cases need to be decided on a case-by-case basis, always bearing in mind their specific features.

*General standards
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For conducting the eligibility checks, the Review Committee relies on a report established by an independent international investigative services company specialising in integrity checks as well as on information provided by the candidate concerned, in particular the eligibility questionnaire (cf. Annexe 1 to the FIFA Governance Regulations), his/her CV and a copy of his/her passport. In this regard, it must be noted that candidates are subject to a check of their integrity as well as of potential conflicts of interest.

With regard to both aspects, the committee considers it important to be able to ask for additional information should it not deem the information available (in particular the report on the background check and the eligibility questionnaire) sufficient. This said, it is also important to recall that the Review Committee has no investigatory powers and makes a decision on the basis of the information available to it at the moment of that decision.

Regarding past criminal convictions and disciplinary sanctions pronounced against a candidate, the committee always considers both the basis and the nature of the convictions and the sanctions applied.

With regard to ongoing proceedings, the committee recognises that these require a delicate balance between opposing risks and interests.

With respect to potential conflicts of interest, the standard to be applied differs depending on the position for which the respective person is proposed. For example, depending on whether the person is a candidate for a full-time and/or executive position or for a part-time and/or non-executive position, the standard to be applied and the expectation to be had must be different. The independent nature of the position is another relevant factor requiring the candidates to comply with additional conditions.

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