Transparency International Cuts Links with FIFA

December 2, 2011

Transparency International, a corruption watchdog that had been advising FIFA, has pulled its support for the world’s football governing body because it feels that joining a special group ordered with creating reforms would ruin its independence.

TI refused the opportunity to join FIFA’s outside governance committee because its Chairman, Mark Pieth, is being paid by the soccer body and has ignored the organisation’s key recommendation to examine past scandals.

Senior Adviser for sport Sylvia Schenk said: “All members of the commission are supposed to be independent. You can’t be independent if you have a contract with FIFA.”

Pieth was not to pleased by Schenk’s comments, suggesting it was a familiar process for outside auditors to be paid for evaluating business practices.

“We can’t start asking audit firms to do their job for free just to make sure they are independent,” said Pieth.

FIFA has yet to comment on the situation, but many believe the move to be a big blow to the sincerity of the reform process. A year of turmoil and speculation, where several top executives have been proved guilty of wrongdoing during the selection process for the World Cup have forced President Sep Blatter into making moves to reform its governing statutes.