Friday, October 28, 2011

Add Neoptism Rules to the List of Needed FIFA Reforms

One week ago Sepp Blatter spoke about the need for FIFA to undergo serious governance reform.  Here is what FIFA did this week:
FIFA said it also chose Swiss-based agency Infront Sports and Media in a tender process to handle sales across 26 Asian territories including China and India.

"Infront offered the best package for this important and very complex project both in financial as well as marketing aspects," Niclas Ericson, FIFA's director of television, said in a statement released by Infront.

Infront has long been scrutinized by FIFA's critics.

The Zug-based agency has close connections to FIFA's discredited former marketing partner ISL, which went bankrupt in 2001 and is once more at the center of allegations regarding kickbacks paid to senior FIFA officials in the 1990s.

Infront has been led since 2006 by Philippe Blatter, now its president and chief executive, who is a nephew of FIFA President Sepp Blatter.
The Infront deal may indeed be perfectly legitimate, but absent practices of "good governance" it is impossible for an outsider to tell, which cedes the territory to FIFA's critics (e.g. here in PDF).

For most organizations, nepotism is generally not viewed favorably as a characteristic of "good governance." FIFA take note.


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