Change FIFAIn view of the resolution on FIFA adopted at the European Football Fans' Congress in July 2011, calling for FIFA to improve governance and transparency inside the organisation in view of recent scandals, we feel committed to inform our membership herewith of our latest activities on this issue:

Following a joint letter of FSE and our members Supporters Direct to FIFA in November 2011, FSE was last week invited by FIFA's General Secretary Jérôme Valcke and Mark Pieth from the Basle Institute on Governance to take part in an Independent Governance Committee (IGC) to oversee the work of four internal FIFA Task Forces working on recommendations for FIFA's governance reform.

The final participants of this IGC are expected to be announced by the Executive Committee of FIFA at their meeting in Tokyo this weekend.

 

After an intense consultation period and after evaluating the information provided to us, as independent and democratically organised body, which holds good governance close to its heart, we have come to the conclusion not to accept the invitation to this committee and FSE informed FIFA respectively on Wednesday, mainly for the following reasons:

The governance structures and the quality of independence of the IGC:

It needs to be underlined that we very much appreciate and respect the work and expertise of Mr. Pieth in the field. That said, whilst Mr. Pieth would have a central role to play for the work of this IGC, we feel that an Independent Governance Committee can only be truly independent if its chair is at least appointed or democratically elected by the committee itself, rather than by FIFA's Executive Committee which will be subject to the reform process to be overseen by the IGC itself.

The anticipated impact of the IGC on the reform process:

The IGC will give evidence to FIFA's Executive Committee in March 2012 after only three one-day meetings and we feel this limited time frame would make it very difficult for the IGC members to gain substantial insight and impact on the work carried out by the four task forces or to carry out investigations into the past, where required. We believe that an important project seeking to achieve substantial governance reforms within FIFA should be given more time.

The lack of transparency and timelines of the invitation process to the IGC

Whilst we very much welcomed the desire to set up an IGC sooner rather than later, we were a bit puzzled in view of the timelines for the invitation process for potential members of the IGC: we received the invitation only at the end of last week and were at first requested to nominate a delegate within two days. Considering our democratic and predominantly volunteer-run structure as a Europe-wide network, this was impossible for us. However, we thank the members of the Basle Institute on Governance for providing us with the biggest possible flexibility and expanded deadlines here, within their means. Obviously though, it makes a decision to participate not easier, not to be told the names of the invitees to the IGC, despite respective requests from our side. A more transparent invitation process would have helped to build trust with and among potential participants and value them as a team with a crucial role to play in the process.

That said, we remain hopeful that the IGC and Mr. Pieth, with the help of the four FIFA Task Forces, will be able to make substantial contributions towards comprehensive governance reforms within FIFA.

This decision truly wasn't an easy one for us to make but has been made unanimously by all people involved in the consultation process.

We will follow the further work of the IGC with great interest and hereby want to express once again our appreciation for the invitation and wish FIFA, Mr. Pieth and his colleagues and the IGC all the best for its work and most importantly workable outcomes.

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