Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mark Pieth Lets Loose

Last April I commented that the odds of a split between Mark Pieth, chairman of FIFA's Independent Good Governance Committee, and FIFA appeared to be increasing. With Pieth's most recent public criticisms of FIFA that split now seems a done deal.

In the SueddeutscheZeitung Pieth lets loose on FIFA and the reform process in a manner reveals deep frustrations with the process. Kier Radnedge reports:
FIFA reformer Mark Pieth is on a collision course with Sepp Blatter, the president who hired him in summer 2011, after an explosive outburst at the obstructions laid in his path.

The Basel governance professor, in today’s edition of the SueddeutscheZeitung, pulled no punches in defiance of a warning from Blatter that reform commission members should not go public with any criticisms which might undermine the credibility of the process.

Pieth, interviewed by Claudio Catuogno, Thomas Kistner and Klaus Ott, attacked – among others:

— European federation UEFA for blocking key reform proposals;

— the manner of the ethics committee’s final despatch of Mohamed Bin Hammam; and

— confusion over the handling of the ISL scandal.

Pieth also railed at the way his four nominations for the role of ethics prosecutor had been blocked, one by one.
If Pieth does indeed split from FIFA it could be huge, as he knows a lot and carries much credibility -- credibility that he has placed at serious risk by taking on the FIFA role. With the FIFA reform process all but over, Pieth is no doubt looking to how his efforts will be received by the broader community, which is yet to be determined. Pieth's assertion of independence deserves support as it cannot be easy. Stay tuned.


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