FIFA Reforms Chief to Go Public on Proposals in New York

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Carrard led the IOC's clean-up after Salt Lake and is now charged with delivering meaningful FIFA reforms (Getty)
(WFI) François Carrard, chair of the 2016 FIFA Reform Committee, will be asked to lift the lid on the secretive process at the Securing Sport 2015 conference in New York City on Tuesday.

The former IOC director general will take part in an on-stage interview with US sports columnist and author Alan Abrahamson.

Carrard, drafted in by FIFA in August to steer reforms of the scandal-hit football body, will compare and contrast his experiences of managing IOC reforms in the wake of the Salt Lake City bribery scandal with the work he is doing with a 12-person panel to revamp FIFA.

After two secretive meetings, the FIFA reforms panel last week presented a package of reforms to the executive committee that are aimed at restoring the credibility and transparency of the tarnished organisation. They include a 12-year term for the FIFA chief and age limit of 74 for the president and ExCo officials. Carrard did not speak with the press, although a document was shared with media.

Carrard’s panel wants football’s ruling body to be rebranded the FIFA Council – limited in powers to overseeing “strategic matters” – and calls for the salaries of FIFA’s top executives to be published. The general secretary job would be scrapped in favour of a chief executive position. The committee will submit the final set of reform proposals to the FIFA ExCo Dec. 2-3.

Earlier this week, FIFA’s top sponsors Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Visa threatened to sever ties with the federation if promises for meaningful reforms are not pushed through at the Feb. 26 congress at which Sepp Blatter’s successor will also be elected. They also disapproved of the lack of independent officials on FIFA’s reforms panel – only Carrard is from outside football.

Still unclear is what happens to the reforms proposed by Carrard’s panel when the new FIFA chief is chosen. Seven candidates are in the running – suspended Michel Platini, Sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa, Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, Gianni Infantino, Tokyo Sexwale, Musa Hassan Bility and Jérôme Champagne. With each candidate set to publish manifestos in the coming weeks, outlining their visions for a new-look FIFA, the new man on world football’s throne will want to implement changes of their own to FIFA's governance.

“With many challenges facing the safety, security and integrity of sport, it is important that all sports continue to grow and evolve and ensure that they are governed in a way that observes the highest possible standards of integrity, openness and transparency,” Carrard said in a statement.

Mohammed Hanzab, president of the Qatar-backed International Centre for Sport Security, said: “Over recent months, the events at FIFA have served as a strong reminder that sport must continue to develop the way it addresses the many threats now confronting its safety, security and integrity.

“As one of the most prominent figures in reforming sports governing bodies over recent years, Dr Carrard will add a wealth of experience and insight from his time at the IOC and his current role as chair of the FIFA Reform Committee.”

In its fifth year, Securing Sport is making its debut in the USA, taking place in New York City, Nov. 3-4.

The event will examine the biggest threats to the safety, security and integrity of sport and unite high-profile decision-makers, law enforcement officials and senior policymakers from the U.S. and around the world.

Carrard headlines a list of high-profile leaders from the world of sports, governance, media and corporate relations.

South Africa’s Tokyo Sexwale, the apartheid-era political prisoner and businessman now running for the FIFA presidency, is making a keynote speech.

Other notable speakers include IOC member from Canada Richard Pound, who is participating in a session about the role of government and sport governing bodies, former U.S Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Sunil Gulati, a FIFA ExCo member and head of the U.S. Soccer Federation, along with Olympic and Paralympic legends Edwin Moses and Tanni Grey-Thompson.

By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson

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