BUDAPEST: Swiss-Italian businessman Domenico Scala is to become first ‘independent chairman’ of  FIFA’s newly-reorganised Audit and Compliance Committee as a first step in the slow process towards governance reform within the world football federation.

That decision was taken by FIFA’s executive committee, meeting in Budapest ahead of the organisation’s 62nd Congress on Thursday and Friday which will confirm the appointment.

Scala, born in Basel in 1965, studied at the University of Basel and graduated with a degree in economics with a specialisation in corporate finance. He also holds executive development degrees from INSEAD and London Business School. Since November 2011, he has been a non-executive Director of Basilea Pharmaceutica, a Swiss stock market-listed biotech company. He also acts as senior advisor to private equity and M&A firms and has held senior managerial roles with various Swiss-based companies.

On that basis, at least, his appointment will be generally welcomed becomes to comes from outside the much-derided ‘FIFA family’ of senior football directors and officials.

The exco also approved the proposed two-chamber restructuring of the Ethics Committee, proposed by the Basel governance consultant Mark Pieth.

On other issues, work is continuing on a players’ insurance programme  which will now also include the Olympic football tournament; the exco has reaffirmed its opposition to fireworks in football stadia; stadia scheduled for the Confederations Cup are Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, Fortaleza, Rio de Janeiro, Recife and Salvador though options for only four or five stadia remain open.

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