Langsame Fifa-Reformen - Kritik von Sponsoren und Büchel
3. April 2012
Erschienen in: Dallas Morning News

Auch die "Dallas Morning News" beschäftigen sich mit den schleppenden Fifa-Reformen.

Die grossen Sponsoren "Emirates Airline", "Visa" und "Coca Cola" werden unruhig und beginnen sich zu bewegen. 

Die texanische Zeitung schreibt:

"Roland Rino Büchel, ein Mitglied des Schweizerischen Parlaments, warnte, dass Fifa Reformen einführen oder weit härtere Massnahmen der Politik erwarten müsse."


Process for changing approach to misdeeds yielding little action

Not just words but actions,” tweeted FIFA president Sepp Blatter last Thursday, a day before an advisory panel released a report criticizing how his scandal-plagued organization does business.

Blatter has embraced the work of Mark Pieth, who was hired in November to help reform FIFA, and the other 12 members of the Swiss law professor’s Independent Governance Committee. Calling it a “historic day for FIFA’s reform process,” Blatter said global soccer’s governing body would change how it investigates corruption by splitting its ethics committee into two parts, one to investigate allegations of wrongdoing and another to judge them.

It’s a significant move, assuming that FIFA’s 208 member nations grant final approval at next month’s Congress. But a number of other suggested reforms have yet to be addressed.

The project comes down to mostly promises — words for now, actions not just yet.

FIFA has come under criticism for how it went about awarding the 2018 and 2022 World Cups — to Russia and Qatar, respectively — and has been under pressure from sponsors and lawmakers to clean up its act. Two members of FIFA’s 24-member executive committee were unable to vote on the reform panel’s recommendations, having been suspended after offering to sell their World Cup votes to undercover reporters.

Since the committee’s World Cup votes in December 2010, nearly half of its members have been sanctioned for or accused of impropriety.

Swiss Politician asks for action

The corruption allegations have spooked World Cup sponsors such as Emirates Airline, Coca-Cola Co. and Visa Inc., all of whom have expressed concern. Roland Rino Büchel, a member of Switzerland’s Parliament, warned that FIFA needs to institute reforms or expect “far stronger action” from the government.

Enter Pieth and his Independent Governance Committee.

The diverse panel — which includes U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati, former Watergate investigator Michael Hershman and Hyundai Motor Co. executive Seung-Tack Kim — criticized FIFA’s approach to misconduct. In some instances, allegations were “insufficiently investigated” and sanctions were “insufficient and clearly unconvincing.”

Though FIFA’s executive committee agreed with the reform panel’s proposals to restructure the ethics committee, other recommendations remain in limbo.

Alexandra Wrage, a reform panel member, said she was disappointed that the executive committee failed to expand to include the two elected officials who will head the revamped ethics and compliance panels, and that it failed to create a separate committee to propose and vet candidates for senior FIFA positions.

Also, proposals to revise the ethics code, introduce term limits and require greater transparency in awarding commercial contracts, worth $1 billion annually, were not approved.

Still, she said she believes FIFA is committed to reform.

“I know there is a lot of cynicism, and I share some of that,” said Wrage, a Canadian lawyer, “although I think things are going as well as they can at this point.”

Sylvia Schenk, sports adviser for Berlin-based anticorruption watchdog Transparency International, criticized the report for leaving too much “unclear” and for not addressing past allegations of corruption.

Pieth, a former United Nations investigator, and his panel are scheduled to monitor the overhaul through the 2013 FIFA Congress, but he has threatened to quit if FIFA drags its heels. Blatter, meanwhile, has vowed to keep the project on course.

“I will do everything in my power to fulfill this promise,” he said.

The Associated Press and Bloomberg News contributed to this report.

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