Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Souring Relations between FIFA and its IGC

Writing at Forbes, Alexandra Wrage, a member of FIFA's Independent Governance Committee, has a hard-hitting piece on the dismal state of affairs at FIFA. She writes:
The recommendations [of the second IGC report] include three points that illustrate the distance between FIFA’s current position on governance and widely established “best practices”.  To be clear, FIFA has not rejected these provisions, they’ve simply failed to implement them to date.   The IGC has no means by which to compel change, yet FIFA describes itself as being bullied by the advisory committee.  Predictably, the discussion has shifted – on both sides – to the public forum.    The IGC must consider how much it can accomplish; FIFA must decide how much it values good governance, the reform process and public opinion.
She concludes:
FIFA is producing governance case study material that will be discussed for years.  The IGC recommendations make simple, clear sense.   Unfortunately, the background noise about match-fixing, sexism and succession intrigue have overshadowed the very simple, ordinary measures the IGC has recommended.   These recommendations are now at risk of becoming casualties of the political process when their merits are obvious.
The second report of the IGC that she refers to can be found here in PDF. The sorry state of affairs between the IGC and FIFA can be discerned from this rather amazing disclaimer included at the end of the report.
The purpose of this Report is to provide the Executive Committee of FIFA with an independent assessment of FIFA’s governance reform project including specific recommendations regarding the improvement of FIFA’s governance. The information forming the basis for recommendations contained in this Report has been obtained in good faith from FIFA representatives and from interviews with its officials and employees. The information in this Report is, in the IGC’s professional judgment, an accurate presentation and analysis of the information provided to us. However, the authors accept no responsibility for any information that has been withheld, knowingly or otherwise.
The IGC also felts compelled to offer to help:
The IGC offers its active participation in the consultation process up to the Congress in May 2013 . . .
With Sepp Blatter declaring the reform process to be almost completed, it seems unlikely that FIFA will take up the IGC's offer of assistance.  However, I don't think that we have heard the last from the committee or its members.


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