FIFA president Gianni Infantino and secretary general Fatma Samoura (Getty Images)

(WFI) FIFA President Gianni Infantino updates the FIFA Council on the steps football’s governing body is taking to address the issues that nearly brought it to its knees.

Infantino, according to a FIFA statement, outlined what his administration has done to address concerns of governance and financial controls within the organization.

“This is swift and effective action with demonstrable results to tackle serious issues,” said the FIFA president. “More work needs to be done as we make FIFA a stronger organization and implement reforms approved by Congress, but we are proud of the achievements to date.”

Three of the areas being tackled are related to FIFA World Cups. Infantino says a number of initiatives have been completed, with others underway, tied to ticketing, the local organizing committee structure for the delivery of event and the bidding process for host countries.

Also being targeted are the processes by which FIFA contracts with its commercial partners and distributes football development funds to member associations.

Two internal areas of concern – abuses related to salaries and compensation and abuses in administration expenses – are also being addressed.

Infantino advised the FIFA Council that the steps taken include “ensuring that financial and operational decision-making rests with the administration, not the FIFA Council; instituting stronger financial controls and more sophisticated benchmarking of existing financial control processes; enhancing the monitoring of money flows; and streamlining internal structures to enable greater transparency”.

As for football matters, Infantino says his administration has “notably” increased the amount of development money being invested in the member associations to grow the game around the world. Other work has focused on “an increased commitment to the women’s game, new leadership in the areas of football and technical development, and continued discussion concerning the role of technology in the game’s future.”

The FIFA Council, formed as part of the governance reforms approved by the FIFA Congress in May, began a two-day meeting on Thursday in Zurich. Infantino, as FIFA president, and Fatma Samoura, as secretary general, are two of the 37 members of the Council.

FIFA will hold a media briefing on Friday at 2 pm CET following the end of the meeting.

By INSIDER Gerard Farek

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