UEFA Ask FIFA to Reform While Making Radical Statement Themselves

June 20, 2011

European soccer’s governing body UEFA has increased the pressure on its world ruling body FIFA by urging it to introduce “concrete” reforms within the next three months.

Allegations of corruption have been rife in the organisation for many years but have come to fruition and public attention more than ever this year with Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Mohamed Bin Hammam – Sepp Blatter’s former presidential challenger – and CONCACAF president Jack Warner having been provisionally suspended pending a full investigation.

At the conclusion of the June meeting of UEFA’s executive committee, general secretary Gianni Infantino said: “The UEFA executive committee has taken note of the will of FIFA to take concrete and effective measures for good governance. It hopes to see results within three months and it is following the situation closely. We want whatever it is FIFA chooses to do to be concrete.

After the FA were lambasted within FIFA for attempting to postpone the vote which saw Sepp Blatter re-elected president for a fourth term, UEFA president Michel Platini spoke warmly of the FA late last week when announcing the decision to re-award the Champions League final rights to Wenbley Stadium in 2013. He stated: “I think it is important to respect 150 years of the FA.

“We are gathered here because 150 years ago, there were people in England who put football’s rules in place. I believe it is a real moment of respect – if we forget the past, we do not have a future.”

Whilst calling for reforms from its ‘big brother’ FIFA, UEFA has made a major announcement to world soccer by appointing a woman as a member of its decision-making Executive Committee.

Within weeks of Platini announcing at the organisation’s Congress in Paris that he wanted more female representation on board, Karen Espelund was made a member of the Executive Committee by invitation rather than election.

At the recent Congress, Platini stated: “We must a find a way to break the glass ceiling preventing women from reaching positions of responsibility within our organisations.”

The Norwegian is no stranger to positions of authority having been general secretary of her country’s federation for the last 10 years, as well as serving as head of UEFA Women’s Football Committee.