(WFI) IOC member Dick Pound says he expects FIFA to pass significant reforms in February.
Pound was involved in implementing the IOC’s reforms in the aftermath of the Salt Lake City Olympic bribery scandal 15 years ago along with current FIFA Reforms Commission chair Francois Carrard. The Swiss lawyer is a former IOC director general.
“My feeling is, and I would rely more on his sense, that they [FIFA] are ready to do something,” he told reporters on the sidelines of this week’s Securing Sport conference in New York.
“If the reforms make sense and will be for the overall good of football I would be surprised if the congress does not accept significant reforms,” Pound said of the Feb. 26 FIFA meeting in Zurich at which a new FIFA president will also be elected.
Carrard updated the FIFA Executive Committee on reform proposals on Oct. 20. They include a 12-year term for the president and age limit of 74 for the president and ExCo officials. Carrard said this week that “consensus” had been reached on the term limit for the FIFA president and publication of compensation payments for the federation leader and executive committee officials. But term limits for ExCo officials are a “work in progress”.
Pound suggested that passing term limits for all top FIFA officials was essential to overhauling world football’s governance.
“It is a key point. If you are in power too long you tend to become a tourist,” he said.
“If you can’t do everything you want to do in eight or 12 years, you’re not going to get it done so you should move out of the way and let somebody else try.”
FIFA is in turmoil following the uncovering of a $150 million bribery scandal in May, which led to the indictments of 14 football and corporate officials. Sepp Blatter, Jerome Valcke and Michel Platini are suspended pending criminal and ethics inquiries into allegations of corruption.
The Canadian IOC veteran said transparency around compensation paid to senio FIFA officials was crucial to help restoring the credibility of the scandal-tarred football governing body.
The IOC introduced an ‘indemnity policy’ as part of president Thomas Bach’s reforms package earlier this year. The IOC has encouraged its 35 summer and winter Olympic federations including FIFA to follow its example.
“I think that kind of transparency is important. When you don’t know, and nobody knows, how much Sepp Blatter makes as president of FIFA it raises unnecessary questions,” Pound said.
“You may say ‘he’s overpaid or he’s underpaid’ whatever it may be. But to hide it is bad. All that does is lead to speculation and suspicion.”
“Thomas Bach has a policy for the IOC. We are transparent in all respects. Now we can say to others ‘don’t you think that would be a good idea for you’,” he added.
By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson
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