FIFA backs reform 'road map' at annual congress
Budapest, May 26 (IANS) Amdist charges of corruption flying thick and fast, delegates at the 62nd FIFA Congress backed measures to reform structures within the world football governing body and pledging to continue increasing accountability and transparency.
During the Congress that ended Friday, reform was the key theme in the wake of financial and corruption scandals which rocked FIFA during the 2011 bidding campaigns to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, Xinhua reported.
"We are going forward, we are regulating ourselves," insisted FIFA president Joseph Blatter throughout the two-day meeting.
In the latest in a series of measures, dubbed a "road map" by Blatter, FIFA's Ethics Committee will be restructured with a new system of two chambers investigatory and adjudicatory each with an independent chairman.
The creation of an Audit and Compliance Committee which will increase the responsibility of the former Audit Committee by adding compliance to its activities was also approved. It will be headed by an independent chairman, while a new Code of Conduct will also be adopted within months.
A complaints procedure has been improved while procedural rules will now be defined in the new Code of Conduct.
"FIFA needed to adapt, otherwise you have risks of abuses," said Mark Pieth, a Swiss criminologist appointed as an independent chairman of FIFA's governance committee, at a press conference after the event.
"FIFA has decided to do it, to take positive steps to self-regulate, this is the critical point," he said.
A scandal about court files allegedly naming senior FIFA officials who took payments from bankrupt broadcaster ISL has also dogged FIFA for over a decade.
Blatter has insisted Swiss court restrictions are to blame for the delay in releasing the court papers.
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