Fifa head surprised at public criticism by own anti-corruption advisers
11 Feb 2013
JOHANNESBURG — Fifa president Sepp Blatter expressed his surprise yesterday at public criticism of the world football body by its own anti-corruption advisers and said they were sometimes working outside their mandate.
Blatter said in South Africa that the independent advisers, whom Blatter invited in to help Fifa reform in 2011, were sometimes making demands and not recommendations.
“From time to time I realised that it is a deviation of the original objective and they are not coming with solutions, not recommendations, they are coming with decisions that we have [to take] … and we must,” Blatter told a small group of reporters. “But that is not what we have asked for.
“We have asked [them] to give us solutions and we bring these solutions to the [Fifa] congress.
The panel of advisers, chaired by Mark Pieth, said in a report last week that the European body Uefa, in particular, was resisting reform and called on Fifa to “demonstrate leadership” and not undermine efforts to reform the body.
That report identifying problems in the process to put in place anti-corruption measures was sent to Fifa’s executive committee, but also made available to the media, Blatter said.
“His [Pieth’s] reaction and going to the media with that, he sends a letter to the Fifa executive committee and then publishing this letter. I think it is a little bit over the objective that I personally have fixed for the proposal of solutions,” he said.
Some of the advisers’ proposals include term limits for the Fifa president and board members, and it has suggested all Fifa committee members should be vetted for integrity by an independent group at its Zurich headquarters.
Blatter agreed with the integrity check for Fifa members, but said it would be conducted by Fifa’s ethics committee.
Blatter also said on Sunday that he thought Fifa presidents should get eight-year terms like the head of the International Olympic Committee, and not the current four-year terms world football’s boss gets before he has to stand for re-election. The president could then stand for an extra four years.