Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mark Pieth Again Criticizes FIFA and Swiss Government

On the heals of yesterday's largely positive assessment of FIFA reform by Michael Hershman, a member of FIFA's Independent Governance Committee, today Mark Pieth, FIFA IGC Chair offers a much less optimistic assessment in an interview with  Here are a few key excerpts.

On FIFA's willingness to adopt conventional standards of corporate governance:
The real challenge is that some of the executive committee people are not elected by congress but by the confederations and then sent to serve on that committee. The challenge is whether we will be able to force the institution to do due diligence on these people – this is something they do in every major multinational firm.

We also believe there needs to be a stronger element of independence in the executive committee, like on a company board you have independent directors; this is a huge step for them.

That’s where we are really struggling at the moment. They are basically making the argument that if you were a government would you want external people to sit in. They see themselves more as a government than as a multinational corporation.
On the Swiss government's appetite for supporting reform:
In the past I’ve always dealt with organisations which have been under some kind of state control or supervision. The difficulty here is that we are in absolute self-regulation, as so far the Swiss regulator – the Federal Sports Office really doesn’t deserve the name regulator – hasn’t done anything to regulate .

It’s only with this new report [on corruption and match-fixing] coming out that it’s starting to take its share of the responsibility.
The bottom line:
Taken together, all these sports organisations represent a substantial risk for Switzerland’s reputation.


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