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Fans on the FIFA Executive Committee? It could happen, says expert

Fans and sponsors could be represented on a post-reform FIFA Executive Committee, according to an expert in sports governance.

Following allegations of corruption at world football’s governing body, an extraordinary congress next month will determine the date of an election to appoint long-serving president Sepp Blatter’s successor.

Blatter unexpectedly announced his intention to step down from the role just four days after being elected for a fifth term, but vowed to drive reform at FIFA before his departure by March 2016 at the latest.

And Tom Bruce of law firm Farrer and Co, who regularly advises national and international sports bodies on a wide range of governance and constitutional matters, believes the Executive Committee needs an overhaul.

“At the moment, the Executive Committee doesn’t appear to contribute critically or meaningfully at all to the decision-making process,” he told Perform. “So I think there’s a real case to review whether it’s a manageable size [24 members] and are there are appropriately skilled individuals on that executive committee?

“At the moment they’re just elected representatives of each of the member nations and what you really want to have on there is independents.

“So you elect skilled independent executives who are going to bring real value to the organisation, rather than just be representatives of their member nation and the inherent conflict that comes with that.

“Another question for a governance review would be; should the committee include other stakeholders? Should there be sponsors’ representatives or fans’ representatives on there to ensure you are canvassing the views of all the stakeholders?”

Bruce also thinks the Committee should be more accountable for its actions, adding: “The Executive Committee should be subject to an annual formal review of its processes and its members should be reviewed and its committees should be reviewed. 

“There needs to be a process by which they are appraised and I’ve not seen any evidence to suggest that they are.

“All of that would help the Executive Committee be a much more credible body and would go much further towards them having integrity and behaving as they should do.”

Mon 15 Jun, 2015
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