The FIFA scandal remains in the news, with former FIFA vice-president Chung Mong-Joon threatening the beleagured Sepp Blatter with a £100m "embezzlement lawsuit". We are reiterating our call for thorough independent reform of FIFA...
There’s little doubt that the biggest off-field football story of the past 12 months has been the alleged corruption scandal which has engulfed FIFA. It might yet see the back of Sepp Blatter although you’d be wise to take his supposed resignation with a hefty pinch of salt.
As fans we’ve grappled with the magnitude of the task in hand, including at the Supporters Summit held with Supporters Direct. So how can you land a blow on the FIFA Death Star? Money talks and we believe that football’s sponsors will come around to our way of thinking and can be persuaded to put huge pressure on FIFA.
Coca-Cola were the first to demand third-party reform of with Visa and McDonald’s soon following their lead. “We believe that establishing this independent commission will be the most credible way for Fifa to approach its reform process and is necessary to build back the trust it has lost,” said Coca-Cola. “We are calling for this approach out of our deep commitment to ethics and human rights and in the interest of seeing FIFA succeed.”
VISA CEO Charlie Scharf said FIFA’s response to the corruption crisis was “wholly inadequate” and demanded credible reform. “First, an independent, third-party commission led by one or more impartial leaders is critical to formulate reforms. Second, we believe no meaningful reform can be made under FIFA's existing leadership.”
With FIFA’s electoral system repeatedly returning a victorious Sepp Blatter to power, many supporters feel that lobbying FIFA’s sponsors is the most effective route to turning the organisation around and reengineering its governance structures.
We’ve worked with Jaimie Fuller (New FIFA Now/Chairman of sports clothing firm SKINS) who recently appeared in front of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee to answer MPs questions on “The Future of FIFA”.
Jaimie has repeatedly argued that FIFA cannot reform itself and that Blatter’s re-election, after all the bad publicity that preceded it, was proof of this. He backs Coca-Cola’s demand for third-party reform and suggests an independent commission led by someone such as Kofi Annan – a figure who has global legitimacy but is not in the pocket of any sports body.
Where firms suffer from financial under-performance and are forced to bring in an administrator, Jaimie describes FIFA as experiencing “moral bankruptcy” and proposes reform based on three fundamental principles – increased fan representation, increased player representation and increased female representation.
As the impetus for change can hardly be trusted to arise internally, so fans should look to FIFA’s leading sponsors as vehicles for their dissent. In July the FSF’s AGM passed a motion to lobby FIFA’s sponsors, insisting they pressure the organisation to ensure “robust safeguards against corruption” and “demand an independent commission to propose changes to FIFA’s statutes ensuring transparent and fair elections and transparent governance”.
We’d encourage each and every fan to do just that by emailing and Tweeting sponsors, you can find all their contacts at www.newfifanow.org. Express your dismay at the corruption and influence-peddling at the top of football. Fans want to see safeguards against future corruption, fair elections and transparent governance. Let sponsors know their reputation is at risk if FIFA fails to reform.
Thanks to Action Images for the image used in this blog.