Blatter in his foreword to the congress agenda: “I am looking forward to a productive and successful congress as together, we steer the FIFA ship towards new horizons.” (Getty)

(WFI) FIFA has issued an 11-point code of conduct for players and officials that calls on the football family worldwide to “reject and condemn all forms of bribery and corruption”.

The draft code will be presented for discussion at the FIFA Congress in Budapest May 24 and 25, where FIFA’s 208 member nations will be represented.

The code of conduct says that member of the FIFA family should at all times comply with the following principles: Integrity and ethical behaviour; Respect and dignity; Zero tolerance of discrimination and harassment; Fair play; Compliance with laws, rules and regulations; Avoidance of conflicts of interest; Transparency and compliance; Social and environmental responsibility; Fight against drugs and doping; Zero tolerance of bribery and corruption; No betting or manipulation.

“The observance of the principles laid down in the Code of Conduct is essential to FIFA and its objectives, in particular to protect and improve the game of football constantly and promote it globally in the light of its unifying, educational, cultural and humanitarian values, particularly through youth and development programmes, and prevent any methods or practices which might jeopardise the integrity of matches or competitions or give rise to abuse of association football,” FIFA said in the document.

The new code is part of a raft of reform proposals produced by FIFA’s Independent Governance Committee aimed at cleaning up world football’s governing body following a spate of bribery allegations during the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding contests and the FIFA presidential election last year.

Proposals by the IGC and the task forces for ethics, revision of statutes, and transparency & compliance dominate the FIFA Congress agenda released today.

The 2012 congress will be asked to approve the heads of a new-look ethics committee with an investigatory and an adjudicatory chamber – an independent investigator and an independent judge – and a new audit and compliance committee. These were the headline reform proposals submitted to the FIFA Ex-Co.

But whether Blatter will go far enough in pushing through other reforms is the big question.

Last month, the head of the Independent Governance Committee welcomed the FIFA Ex-Co’s general approval of the reforms but told World Football INSIDER he was sceptical of Blatter’s motivations to back some of the key recommendations at the congress. In particular, these include getting FIFA to reveal the salaries of the president and Ex-Co members and bringing in term and age limits for the the FIFA chief and his colleagues, restrictions of two terms of four years.

“We demand transparency on the remuneration of senior officials including the publication of Mr Blatter’s salary,” Swiss law professor Mark Pieth told INSIDER. “He doesn’t like the age limit, he is offended by it,” he added.

In Blatter’s foreword to the FIFA Congress agenda, the Swiss noted that one year ago when he addressed the congress, “FIFA was facing criticism and there were unmistakable calls for more transparency at world football’s governing body” following the bribery scandals, which spurred the initiation of reforms.

“I was convinced that it was imperative for our organisation to change and that FIFA needed to strengthen good governance, transparency and zero tolerance against wrongdoing,” he wrote.

“Since then, the reform process has been under way, with the Executive Committee unanimously approving a road map as well as setting up three task forces and an Independent Governance Committee.”

Blatter writes that the 208 members nations of FIFA will be asked to decide on “a series of concrete reforms” approved at the March 29-30 FIFA Ex-Co meeting in Zurich, which also includes creation of a seat for a female member on the ruling body.

“The implementation will be a step-by-step process and I am committed to doing everything in my power to fulfill this promise, with further reforms to be presented at the 2013 Congress,” Blatter writes.

“I am looking forward to a productive and successful congress as together, we steer the FIFA ship towards new horizons.”

By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson

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