JOHANNESBURG: FIFA president Sepp Blatter lined today up against possible successor Michel Platini over the world federation’s reform process writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The operation led by governance expert Mark Pieth is in its closing stages with FIFA Congress due to vote on May on the last outstanding issues.
However a meeting last month of all the European federations agreed to oppose Pieth’s proposals for term limits on members of the executive committee and the imposition of a ‘fit and proper person’ test for anyone appointed to a FIFA role.
Last week Pieth himself launched a fierce criticism of both UEFA and members of the FIFA executive committee over their obstructive behaviour. He threatened to quit the process if certain key proposals were rejected.
These include both the above as well as the addition of two non-executive members to the exco and full and open publication of all wages, bonuses, expenses and honorariums.
Blatter, in Johannesburg for the final of the African Nations Cup between Nigeria and Burkina Faso, expressed apparent disappointment at UEFA’s negativity.
He said: “I’m surprised by the reaction of UEFA. The executive committee told the confederations to consult their national assocations about the reforms . . . and I’m surprised because it did not seem like a consulatation, it seemed like was decision-making from UEFA where the national associations have signed a declaration against this.
“The idea was that at the FIFA Congress, all national associations have the right to speak on the amendments in favour or against. We have asked the confederations to make consulations we have not asked them to make decisions.
“If all the Confederations make decisions, what is the point of the FIFA Congress?”
Blatter picked out UEFA’s opposition to credibility checks as a particular issue for concern.
He said: “What is important to me and I will defend it, is that all members of FIFA shall have a scrutiny check, because everyone working somewhere has one. All the referees and linesmen on the FIFA list have to have one and sign a document which is recognised by their national association.
“So if it is good enough for FIFA referees, why should it not be the same for the FIFA executive committee and all the members of FIFA? Why is UEFA now against this? I dont understand it.”
Blatter has suggested this could be his last term in office but has not ruled out standing for re-election in 2015.
Platini, Spain’s Angel Villar and Jerome Valcke, the FIFA secretary-general, are all considered possible contenders.
Blatter said: “My [current] mandate ends in 2015, if God gives me my health . . . I know I have to stop, but I dont know when I will stop.”
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