(WFI) The FIFA reforms commission will hold its first meeting in Bern, Switzerland on Sept 2-3, World Football INSIDER has learned.
INSIDER understands that chairman Francois Carrard was keen to convene the first meeting in a city with no links to FIFA in a bid to underline the independent credentials of the reforms body.
Twelve members were appointed on August 11 – two from each of six continental confederations. FIFA will shortly announce the two representatives from its sponsors who will also join the reforms panel.
Carrard will offer a preliminary update on potential reforms to the FIFA Executive Committee at its Sept. 24-25 meeting.
With reforms on a fast-track process – they’re expected to go before FIFA’s extraordinary elective congress in Zurich on Feb. 26 – Carrard and his team could hold monthly meetings to hammer out proposals. The overhaul of FIFA’s governance structures was triggered by the most damaging corruption scandal in its 111-year history.
Meanwhile, one member of the commission tells INSIDER the reforms commission can act quickly to deliver meaningful reforms in the challenging six-month timeframe.
“It should be [enough time],” said Australian IOC member Kevan Gosper, one of Asian Football Confederation’s representatives.
“There is very important work to do. With the leadership and the quality of people, they are all very experienced people, I think it is good to set a near target because this matter should be addressed as soon as possible.
Speaking to INSIDER in Beijing where he is on IOC business, he added: “Hopefully we will come out with changes which will not only be acceptable to FIFA but will be seen by the rest of sport and the community in general as appropriate for an organization of this size and impact on the international stage.”
Gosper worked with Carrard when he was an IOC vice president and the Swiss lawyer occupied the IOC’s director general role for 14 years. They also teamed up when Carrard chaired the international boxing federation’s ethics commission of which Gosper was a member.
He believes Carrard will deliver on his promises to “deliver the necessary package of credible reforms”.
“I know that this commission will be in very good hands,” Gosper said.
Like Carrard, Gosper was part of the IOC’s reforms panel responsible for cleaning up the Olympic committee after its Salt Lak City cash-for-votes scandal that left the IOC’s reputation in tatters. Gosper is one of Asian Football Confederation’s representatives, the other being Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah of Kuwait.
Ahmad is one of three serving FIFA ExCo members on the task force; Egypt’s Hany Abo Rida and Constant Omari of Selemani of Congo DR are also involved. UEFA’s Infantino is the other high-profile official named to the panel.
FIFA is reeling from the $150 million bribery scandal spanning three decades that was uncovered by U.S. authorities in May. A US Department of Justice investigation led to the indictment of 14 football officials and marketing executives. The scandal sparked Sepp Blatter’s decision to lay down his mandate four days after being re-elected for a fifth term. The extraordinary congress in February will elect his successor.
UEFA president Michel Platini and former FIFA vice president Chung Mong-joon are the only declared candidates so far.
By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson
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