Thursday, January 19, 2012

Mark Pieth in the FT

Mark Pieth, chair of FIFA's "good governance committee," has an op-ed on the FIFA reform process in today's FT. Here is an excerpt:
I chair the Independent Governance Committee reviewing Fifa reform (though I write here in a personal capacity), which yesterday held its first meeting. The committee is going to make strong and explicit recommendations to Fifa. We are optimistic but not naïve. We expect considerable resistance.

In sports governance more broadly, two areas must be addressed. First, states must adapt their legal structures so that corruption cases can be dealt with effectively. Second, sports governing bodies need to put their own houses in order.
The piece critiques the Swiss government's oversight of international organizations incorporated within its borders:
Traditionally, law enforcement agencies have been hesitant to deal with crimes committed by sports officials. Switzerland, the host of over 60 sports governing bodies, has an additional problem, since its anti-corruption laws insufficiently cover bribery and bribe taking by private persons. Allegations against officials of Fifa and its confederations around the world have been persistent, surfacing every time a president was elected or a hosting decision was taken. There is a clear need to supplement the laws.
By contrast, the piece does not discuss FIFA or its governance in any specificity. For that I suppose we'll have to await their report.


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