FIFA Appoint Mark Pieth to Lead Reform Body

November 24, 2011

FIFA have appointed Swiss anti-corruption expert Mark Pieth to lead the Independent Governance Committee which will reform soccer’s world governing body following a series of scandals.

FIFA picked Pieth for its “solutions committee” that will oversee reforms president Sepp Blatter promised after winning re-election in June, following a bribery-tainted campaign by his only challenger.

The University of Basel professor will outline the scope of his expert panel’s work at a news conference next week, FIFA said.

In 2004, Pieth was chosen by the United Nations to serve on an independent inquiry team examining alleged corruption in the Iraqi oil-for-food program.

Blatter has pegged the “solutions” panel — which FIFA now calls the Independent Governance Committee — to have a key role analyzing areas for reform plus past allegations that require further probing.

Pieth has taken a role that Blatter initially suggested might be filled by former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

FIFA has said up to 18 members of Pieth’s team would be identified on Dec. 17 after an executive meeting in Tokyo.

Pieth’s team will receive reports from four FIFA task forces before recommending reforms.

He has previously helped the Swiss federal justice department draft laws to curb “money laundering, organized crime, drug abuse, corruption and the confiscation of assets,” according to his biography published by the Basel Institute on Governance.

For the past 21 years, Pieth has led an advisory group on bribery in international business for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.