“After a plethora of scandals, and following the latest corruption allegations, FIFA’s Ethics Committee has at last reacted with the suspensions of Sepp Blatter, Michel Platini and Jérôme Valcke,” said Anne Brasseur, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
“It is not just about these individuals, it is about the whole system. As I have repeatedly stated, it is past time for FIFA to lance the boil. In football, a player gets a yellow card as a warning and then a red card and is sent off. FIFA has been stacking up the yellow cards for too long – now it is time for red.”
“I cannot but wonder why it took so long to come to these conclusions. There have been too many cover-ups, too many secrets kept out of public sight,” she added.
“Football – and sport in general – suffers immensely from these repeated scandals. An overall reform of FIFA is now inevitable. The world body must face up to its responsibilities, not only towards itself, but towards football and sport as a whole. I join the appeal of the International Olympic Committee to rebuild a new FIFA in order to protect sport, and football in particular,” she said.
“The whole FIFA system, by which confederations and their leaders were kept happy through enormous amounts of money, is rotten. Simply replacing individuals will not solve the problem. It is time to blow the final whistle on it,” she concluded. “GAME OVER.”
In recent resolutions, the Parliamentary Assembly has called for speedier reform of FIFA governance and the adoption of binding measures to ensure transparency in its decision-making. Among other things, the Assembly has recommended that FIFA’s regulatory and business roles be separated, with the creation of a subsidiary company to manage the business side, and that all commercial contracts (television rights, marketing, ticket sales and sponsoring) should be subject to tendering procedures that meet the highest international standards in the field.