Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Significance of FIFA ExCo Agenda Item E13.5?

FIFA's ExCo is wrapping up its second meeting of the year in Brazil, held in advance of the World Cup. Keir Radnedge has spotted an interesting item on the ExCo Agenda (here in PDF), item E13.5 which he believes may have some substantial significance for FIFA governance.

Radnedge writes:
[P]assing beneath the radar, listed as item 13.5 on the agenda, is the apparently opaque proposal (expected to go through without discussion) that members of the FIFA exco should be registered formally with the Commercial Register of Zurich.

The significance of this step relates back to the exco scandals in 2010 and 2011 over the votes-for-cash storms swamping both the 2018 and 2022 World Cup award process and then the FIFA presidential election.

Subsequent disciplinary action led to the departure from the exco, for one reason or another, of eight of its members.

The negative publicity prompted not only the FIFA reform process but jogged local politicians into a realisation that they could no longer turn a blind eye to the cowboy behaviour of too many directors of sports federations flying under the tax-friendly Swiss flag.

Departing FIFA reform steward Mark Pieth believes Switzerland needs to draw the laws far tighter but at least the legal authorities in Zurich have woken up to the need for action: hence its insistence that members of the executive bodies of legal entities should be formally entered in the local commercial register to comply with Swiss law.

This would place FIFA exco members under legal status which, in theory, could make them personally liable for malfeasance in office.
It is an excellent point raised by Radnedge.


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