“Following the arrests of seven leading FIFA officials yesterday morning in Zurich, football’s global body is once again shaken by an indescribable scandal only two days before its Congress. Whatever the result of the inquiry, it is imperative that FIFA continue to reform the governance of this organisation,” said Anne Brasseur, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). “These arrests are not a surprise, given the criticisms made over many years. It is now time to lance the boil.”
“There must be swift action to protect football, which is the victim of these never-ending scandals. Football – and sport in general – must not become a lawless zone. We need a reformed FIFA, capable of upholding sporting ethics and human rights, starting with Qatar,” she added.
For the last three years, the Parliamentary Assembly has been calling for speedier reform of FIFA governance and the adoption of binding measures to ensure transparency in its decision-making, the President recalled. “We have recommended to FIFA that its regulatory and business roles be separated, with the creation of a subsidiary company to manage the business side, and we have called for all commercial contracts (television rights, marketing, ticket sales and sponsoring) to be subject to tendering procedures that meet the very highest international standards in the field.”