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PACE demands ‘detailed and exhaustive’ investigation into FIFA’s recent Presidential election

Strasbourg, 25.04.2012 – Football’s governing body FIFA should open a “detailed and exhaustive” internal investigation into whether, and to what extent, the elected candidate in its recent election for President exploited his institutional position to obtain “unfair advantages for himself or for potential voters”, according to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

In a resolution based on the report “Good governance and ethics in sport” by François Rochebloine (France, EPP/CD), the Assembly also called on FIFA to publish in full any judicial and other documents relating to the case of Swiss sports promoter ISL/ISMM, whose collapse in 2001 gave rise to allegations of kickbacks to FIFA officials in return for television rights. In particular, it seeks publication of the May 2010 decision which suspended criminal proceedings against “two natural persons and FIFA” for misappropriation of funds – after certain sums were repaid.

The Assembly said FIFA should “cast full light on the facts underlying the various scandals which, in recent years, have tarnished its image and that of international football”. The investigative powers of its Ethics Committee, in particular, should be significantly increased so that it could undertake “on its own initiative and at any point, internal investigations, including with regard to former officials”.

In the same report, the Assembly also proposed a comprehensive set of guidelines on good governance and ethics in sport for international and national sports bodies, as well as governments, to apply. These aim to promote financial fair play and discourage gross financial inequalities between clubs, protect young sportsmen and women, and improve transparency and accountability in sport’s managing bodies.