Hershman at Securing Sport (WFI)

(WFI) Former FIFA advisor Michael Hershman says he has no confidence that Francois Carrard’s FIFA Reforms Commission – “a bunch of insiders” – will deliver meaningful reforms.

Speaking to journalists at the Securing Sport conference in New York City, the former member of FIFA’s Independent Governance Committee (IGC) pulled no punches, blasting the latest attempts to revamp scandal-hit FIFA.

“I don’t have confidence in this reform process and frankly it’s waste of time and money,” he told reporters. He made similar comments two weeks ago after Carrard published a progress report on the reforms.

“There have already been four efforts in the past to provide a roadmap for FIFA for reform,” Hershman said, noting the first report from Transparency International followed by recommendations made by the Basel Institute of Governance, the IGC reforms package and a new set of proposals by FIFA’s audit and compliance committee chair Domenico Scala two months ago.

“All of these provided a roadmap for FIFA’s reform which they have basically ignored,” Hershman said.

“Why should we expect that this next reform effort, which is a bunch of insiders, is going to achieve what we weren’t able to.”

Asked by INSIDER if he expected some of the reforms to be rejected at the Feb 26 FIFA elective congress, he said: “We have already heard that they are wavering on the issue of term limits for the ExCo members.

“This is best practice governance, if they are not going to accept term limits God forbid they accept independent members of the executive committee which we recommended in the first place. Then how can we really expect real reform to happen.”

Hershman said FIFA was in danger of “disintegrating” unless renewed efforts to overhaul FIFA’s governance and structures were not approved.

“I spoke to him [Francois Carrard] and I reminded him that the IGC had seven members of the football family on our panel, and he said to me the reason that your work was not accepted is because it was headed by a Swiss professor [Pieth] and I asked him how is that any different from a Swiss lawyer heading a reform process.”

What did Carrard say? “He didn’t say anything. He told me a joke after that.”

A member of the advisory board of the Qatar-funded International Center for Sports Security, Hershman was seen by INSIDER talking to Carrard and IOC member Dick Pound after a conference session, both of whom were involved in the IOC’s clean-up after the Salt Lake City bribery scandal.

On Tuesday, Carrard dismissed the suggestion that his proposal for an advisory board was being quietly dropped after INSIDER heard that it was up in the air.

He also hinted that while there was “consensus” of a 12-year limit for the FIFA chief and publication of compensation payments for the president and executive committee officials, term limits for them would prove difficult to pass at the February congress.

Home page pic: Getty

By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson

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