BASEL: Mark Pieth, who led the original FIFA reform process, thinks that Germany’s Theo Zwanziger could be the right man to lead the world federation out of its immediate crisis writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

The Basel governance professor left his role in 2013 in frustration that resistance from among some of FIFA’s six regional confederations had blocked key proposals.

The one proposal which was enacted was the creation of a separate ethics chamber – the body which is now considering whether FIFA president Sepp Blatter and vice-president Michel Platini (also UEFA chief} should be suspended pending an inquiry into last week’s events.

Pieth, a criminal law professor, said: “It would be ideal to have a president who would step down after two years.

“[FIFA needs] someone to come in now to allay fears and make reforms, before making room for someone who could preside for longer . . . a transitional president who did not grow up within the system, and who has not profited from the system.”

Pieth then raised the name of Zwanziger who was replaced as UEFA delegate to the FIFA exco this past spring after serving a single four-year term. Zwanziger has been an outspoken critic of the decision to stage the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Pieth added: “If Theo were chosen – as I hope he will be – as a two-year interim president, he would also oppose Qatar for labour-law reasons.”

FIFA statutes say that if the president is unable to maintain his duties then the senior vice-president should take over in an interim role.

This would fall on Issa Hayatou, the African confederation president from Cameroon. However he would be utterly unsuitable for the role, according to Pieth, because “he is also a member of System Blatter.”

Hayatou was once reprimanded by the International Olympic Committee – of which he is also a member – for accepting an illicit payment from FIFA’s former commercial partner ISL. Hayatou has always insisted the payment was entirely above board.

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