ZURICH: Jerome Champagne, French candidate for the FIFA presidential election next year, believes that the Eckert report underlines the need for further reforms in the structure and governance of the world federation.

Champagne, a former deputy general secretary of FIFA, was ousted in January 2010 – hence part-way into the 2018-2022 World Cup bidding process.

In a statement he said:

As a member of the world football community who had to leave FIFA in January 2010 and as a candidate for the office of FIFA president, I could only take note of the content of the statement released today by Mr Eckert.

I have said constantly and consistently that the FIFA World Cup should be protected for what it represents for the game and for the football community at large, and that as a consequence, we needed and still need to know what happened before and after the December 2010 vote.

 The potential future proceedings against officials mentioned in the investigation will constitute an important step for the full closure of the case.

As far as the Mr Eckert’s recommendations are concerned, this case and the findings mentioned in this statement are just an additional call to make FIFA stronger, more democratic, more transparent and abler to protect itself and football from external influences of political or economic nature.

Giving back the power to decide the host of the FIFA World Cup to the 209 national associations who are the real members of FIFA was a very important decision which was adopted and that I fully supported. But more reforms are now needed.