FIFA = corruption: How Blatter can spark reform in his zero hour

Corruption it seems was business as usual for FIFA, football’s highest governing body, which sits on a budget that makes many sovereign states envious.

After two decades in office, FIFA President Sepp Blatter is promising to put a stop to corruption through a serious of reforms he intends to adopt prior to his departure.

Blatter resigned but remains the head of FIFA until elections are called and the incumbent takes office - and apparently this might take up to nine months.

The organization’s internal manual suggests that the 27-member executive committee must meet and call for a special election congress of FIFA’s 209 member federations. Although the next meeting of the executive committee is due end of September, it could be called to convene sooner.

Once this happens, an election should be called four months after setting a deadline for candidates to present their credentials to run for the position of head of FIFA.

This means that Blatter is to oversee the organization for at least nine more months.

Commissions and kickbacks are new legitimate words in the dictionary of deal making.

Mohamed Chebarro

So with his remaining time in power, what measures could Blatter implement to curb corruption, money laundering, vote buying and rigging that were not possible to apply in 20 years as head of FIFA and over four decades in the world’s football body in one capacity or the other?

In Blatter’s resignation speech, he promised to limit the incumbent term of future leaders so that no-one could serve 20 years or 5 terms consecutively. He is also - finally - keen to show transparency and reveal FIFA executives’ salaries and bonuses.

However, these reforms are seen as meagre and don’t reflect the biggest crisis to engulf football for decades. In addition, they cannot persuade critics that the football body is finally coming out of purgatory and into the light.

And to be fair to Blatter and world football, yes FIFA is corrupt, and yes FIFA executives abused the trust of millions of fans across the globe and tarred the game with countless irregularities - but to me FIFA is only a reflection of the business of the day in the global advertising market and the cutthroat business of TV rights and distribution.

Since the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the world has sped towards globalized economies with open markets and capitalist supply-and-demand trends. Now, commissions and kickbacks are new legitimate words in the dictionary of deal making.

Mohamed Chebarro is currently an Al Arabiya TV News program Editor. He is also an award winning journalist, roving war reporter and commentator. He covered most regional conflicts in the 90s for MBC news and later headed Al Arabiya’s bureau in Beirut and London.


Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:46 - GMT 06:46
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.