ZURICH: FIFA’s reform process will come to conclusive full stop next May 31 writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

That is when Congress will vote on the outstanding proposals beign sieved by an international working group headed up by ex-German federation president Theo Zwanziger.

It had been thought, earlier this year, that once the work of the various task forces had been completed, the remaining proposals would be reviewed by the executive committee in Tokyo next month.

Not so. Zwanziger’s latest working group met for the first time in Zurich today/Monday and will not meet again until February 10.

Its membership comprises the general secretaries and legal directors of the six confederations and the timeline signifies the delicate nature of the issues* which included age and term limits for FIFA executive committee members as well as the composition of the exco.

Several – younger and more recently-appointed – members of the exco want to see direct representation of players, leagues and referees.

President Sepp Blatter – who acknowledged mistakes during his leadership of the world federation, at a conference in Zurich – has signified a personal preference for wider representation from the world game but a personal antipathy to age limits.

Now the final reform proposals will not be brought before the executive committee until a special meeting on March 20-21.

Some members of the governance committee created under the leadership of consulant Mark Pieth have expressed their impatience with the slow pace of progress and doubts whether their recommendations will be carried through in the time remaining.

The latest statement from FIFA, however, insists that on May 31 FIFA Congress will “review and vote on remaining reform proposals.”

The 10 outstanding issues*

1. Confirmation of the members of the FIFA Executive Committee by the FIFA Congress

2. Composition of the FIFA Executive Committee

3. Election of the FIFA president

4. Term of office

5. Age limit

6. Stronger representation of interest groups in FIFA

7. Bidding process/decision on venue of FIFA World Cup

8. Various clarifications and specifications in the FIFA Statutes

9. International Football Association Board 

10. Regulations governing candidatures for the office of FIFA president.

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