Thursday, January 26, 2012

Tough Talk from Mark Pieth

InsideWorldFootball reports on some very tough talk from Mark Pieth, chair of FIFA's independent good governance committee:
Speaking to German newspaper the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Pieth responded when asked whether he expected more scandals: "I cannot judge yet," before adding "it would surprise me if it went off without scandal."

Pieth also said: "We must see to it that the gangsters do not escape in the wake of reform detractors."
Gangsters?  Wow. Pieth offered a prediction as well:
"Many of those who now sit on the Executive Committee will not be there much longer," Pieth said.

"They will resign because of scandals."
More wow. He described the functioning of FIFA as a "gentleman's club":
Describing FIFA as an organisation which "lacks regulation" and with "a gentleman's club structures", he also said: "I would not say that FIFA is corrupt, but there are too many corrupt individuals in this structure."
Pieth also responds to some of the criticisms that he has recevied:
Pieth also took the opportunity to defend the fact that he is being paid by FIFA, describing it as a "red herring".

"Money always does create some risk, but I see no problem in our case," he said.
The fact that he is being paid for his services is not necessarily problematic. Rather, as I have argued, the non-disclosure of the significant payment from FIFA ($128,000 for for drafting a paper) prior to being appointed created serious credibility problems for a committee with the phrase "good governance" in its title.They need not have started off with that deficit.

Pieth's tough talk suggests that he is well sensitized to this issue, but the comments attributed to him suggest that has not yet addressed it head on. It does sound like Pieth's response to the criticism will be to recommend some strong medicine for FIFA. Stay tuned.


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