Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mark Pieth on FIFA Reform: One Third Way Done

Mr Pieth welcomed Fifa’s decisions, although he said his recommendation of war crimes prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo to chair the investigatory chamber had been overlooked in favour of Mr [Michael J.] Garcia. However, Mr Pieth said he considered Mr Garcia of equivalent calibre to Mr Moreno-Ocampo.

Mr Pieth also welcomed the appointment of his choice for the adjudicatory chairmanship of Mr Eckert, who has presided over a number of high-profile corporate trials, and the decision to do away with a time limit.
“Anyone who has doubts that they [the investigators] can look at the past can see now they have the ability,” Mr Pieth said.

But he added that the Fifa decisions represented only a third of the changes Mr Pieth and his colleagues had recommended. The other recommendations include cataloguing potentially critical payments, term limits for officials, campaign financing for presidential candidates, conflict of interest regulation and greater transparency over financial contributions by Fifa to member countries for developing football.

“Will they do the rest, or will they say, ‘thank you’? Will they take out what they like and detach the rest?” Mr Pieth said.
Back in March, Pieth anticipated how FIFA might respond:
“I’m at the moment pretty optimistic. But it’s very open. If it works out I’ll be patted on the back. If it fails I’ll be an idiot. I think we will know by mid-April whether they are serious.” And if they aren’t? “If we are unsuccessful, we would have to walk away. ‘We’ve had it, goodbye.’ This would be a dreary result. Sponsors, the media, everybody would be left with something they couldn’t really digest, and Fifa would just carry on. Who would force Fifa?”
Are the one third of reforms, by Pieth's count, an indication of seriousness? Of course, if one uses Pieth's commissioned report from last fall as the basis for evaluating reform, FIFA scores far less than a one third success rate, as I showed here.

It does look like Pieth and the IGC is moving ahead, indicating that they have some faith that the process is generating positive results.


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