Monday, January 28, 2013

FIFA Still Falls Short on Transparency

Last week FIFA provided an update on the work of its new investigative and adjudication bodies (chair respectively by Michael J. Garcia and Hans-Joachim Eckert pictured above):
First, proceedings related to the settlement order in the case involving the former FIFA marketing partner ISL are ongoing. When the examination is complete, Chairman Garcia will detail his findings in a final report to FIFA’s Executive Committee, which, as previously reported, referred the matter to the Chairman. It is anticipated that this will occur at the next regularly scheduled meeting of that committee in March 2013.

Second, we are responding to recent referrals related to allegations of match manipulation. The Ethics Committee has an important role to play in ensuring that such allegations are properly addressed in order to protect the integrity of the game. The Investigatory Chamber will be making decisions as to formal proceedings on these referrals.

Third, as has been publicly announced, certain allegations regarding events surrounding the bidding for the World Cup 2018 and 2022 were referred to the Ethics Committee by FIFA following media reports. We intend to conduct a thorough review of those allegations, including the evidentiary basis for and credibility of any allegations of individual misconduct.
If you expect to learn much about what FIFA uncovers, don't hold your breath. FIFA explains:
Confidentiality rules, as well as principles of fairness and due process, preclude us from disclosing information about much of our ongoing casework.
In its investigatory work it is reasonable to expect FIFA to achieve a level of disclosure comparable to that of the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Judged by the first major decision rendered by FIFA's new ethics committee -- on Mohammed bin Hammam -- FIFA intends to say what it decided and nothing else.

A true commitment to "fairness and due process" would suggest that FIFA should adopt a less secretive approach.


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