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Hayatou accepts need for reform after another tumultuous day for FIFA

Acting FIFA president Issa Hayatou says Thursday’s events in Zurich “underscore the necessity to complete a full programme of reform for FIFA”.

Two more high-ranking officials from world football’s governing body – Alfredo Hawit, president of CONCACAF, and Juan Angel Napout, president of CONMEBOL – were arrested in early-morning raids at the Hotel Baur au Lac in Zurich, where FIFA delegates were present ahead of a two-day Executive Committee meeting.

Both Hawit and Napout are suspected of accepting millions of dollars in bribes and have opposed immediate extradition to the United States.

The ExCo were gathering to review a series of proposals from the 2016 FIFA Reform Committee – all of which were later unanimously approved.

And, speaking at a media conference, Hayatou admitted reform was required to rebuild the organisation’s shattered reputation.

He said: “The events that have taken place this morning underscore the necessity to complete a full programme of reform for FIFA.

“A great step has been taken in this sense as the ExCo have approved a series of proposals put forward by the Reform Committee. The proposals are the roadmap of a radical reform of the governance of FIFA and its operations and procedures.

“The reforms are clear and mark the beginning of a change of culture in FIFA and these proposals will now be put forward.”

Francois Carrard, the chairman of the Reform Committee, was impressed with the ExCo’s willingness to move towards a new, more transparent FIFA.

He said: “We’ve had a very important step this morning. It is also the beginning of a very important process so that FIFA can renew itself.

“We all know that FIFA is going through a major crisis. As we also all know, a crisis is a unique opportunity for change, renewal and commencing a new period of FIFA’s rich history.

“The status can be compared to a train with the main engine starting and the train is on the track. The next station is a very important one, it’s the congress, and there will be further stations along the course of the train.

“The impressive part was the unity of the ExCo to approve the entire number of reforms.

“It was impressive to see all members without exception supporting and showing a determination to carry out this reform process.”

Thu 3 Dec, 2015
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