FIFA Congress approves landmark reforms

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Zurich, Feb 26 (IANS) FIFA’s member associations here on Friday approved a package of landmark reforms that pave the way for significant improvements to the governance of global football.

Considering Indonesia and Kuwait are currently suspended by FIFA, 207 of FIFA member associations present are eligible to vote at the Extraordinary Congress here. The congress will also elect a new FIFA president later in the day, reports Xinhua.

The reforms were based on proposals made by the FIFA Reform Committee and the subsequent recommendations put before the congress by the Executive Committee in the form of draft FIFA Statutes. 179 of 201 valid votes proved the reform plans, 22 members voted against.

The reforms represent an essential step towards the modernization of FIFA’s institutional culture in key areas such as the clear separation of political and management functions, term limits, the disclosure of individual compensation, greater recognition and promotion of women in football and a commitment to enshrining human rights in the FIFA Statutes.

Furthermore, they include statutory principles of good governance for member associations and confederations such as compulsory annual independent audit reports as well as independent judicial bodies to ensure a separation of powers on all levels of football structures.

“We stand united in our determination to put things right, so that the focus can return to football once again. The hard work of restoring trust and improving how we work begins now,” said acting FIFA president Issa Hayatou.

“This will create a system of stronger governance and greater diversity that will give football a strong foundation on which to thrive. It will help to restore trust in our organisation. And it will deter future wrongdoing.”

The main aspects of the approved reforms have been incorporated into unamended version of the FIFA Statutes. The statutory amendments passed will come into effect for the members 60 days after the close of the Congress.

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