FIFA members have approved a raft of reforms to the organisation after an overwhelming majority vote at Friday’s Congress in Zurich.
The reform package was passed after an 89 per cent majority voted in favour of plans aimed at increasing transparency in FIFA activities and restoring credibility to the organisation following the investigation into corruption over the past year.
Acting president Issa Hayatou urged member associations to support the plans this week in order to prove that FIFA is committed to “a new dawn” after the indictment of a number of officials on conspiracy, fraud and racketeering charges, as well as the suspension of former president Sepp Blatter, who is appealing against the decision to ban him from football for six years over a payment made to ex-UEFA chief Michel Platini.
Of 207 eligible members associations, 179 voted yes to the reforms, despite fervent opposition from Palestine FA head Gonzalo Boye Tuset, who warned that more time should be taken to draft effective proposals to transform FIFA.
— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) February 26, 2016
Changes to the FIFA structure put forward in the package include restricted terms of office for the president to a maximum of 12 years, a commitment to increased gender diversity and integrity checks across all members.
The FIFA Executive Committee is also set to be replaced by the newly formed FIFA Council, which will oversee the strategic running of the organisation, while the general secretariat will take charge of commercial and operational matters.
“We stand united in our determination to put things right, so that the focus can return to football once again,” said Hayatou. “The hard work of restoring trust and improving how we work begins now.
“This will create a system of stronger governance and greater diversity that will give football a strong foundation on which to thrive. It will help to restore trust in our organisation. And it will deter future wrongdoing.”
Djimrabaye Bourngar of Chad has been elected as deputy chairman of the Ethics Committee’s investigatory branch while delegates also voted in favour of the dismissal of Canover Watson from the Audit and Compliance Committee after he was convicted on charges of corruption.