ZURICH: Domenico Scala has repeated his warning about the “systemic” nature of corruption in the governing councils of world football writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

The Swiss businessman is independent chairman of the audit and compliance committee of embattled world federation FIFA and also heads the panel policing the run-up to the presidency election next February 26.

Scala has delivered his doom-laden warnings consistently at FIFA Congress in recent years and he repeated the message at an International Football Arena conference held at the Home of FIFA in Zurich.

Significant reforms were urgently needed to bring a halt to the string of scandals said Scala who has referred, in the past, to a corrosive “culture of corruption” in and around the leadership of the world game.

He said: “We have to accept that corruption is systemic in football. If we accept it is systemic then we can start to do something about it. If we deny it, we dismiss the problem.”

** Herbert Hainer, chief executive of Adidas, has backed plans for term and age limits for the FIFA president who should also be subject to a supervisory board **

Scala had submitted comprehensive proposals for reform last summer only then to be ambushed when outgoing president Sepp Blatter decided to create a reform committee packed with FIFA confederation nominees and chaired by Swiss lawyer Francois Carrard.

Coincidentally, Carrard’s committee was also meeting this week in Zurich, preparing recommendations to set before the FIFA executive committee next month.

Scala said: “I’m not saying my 30 pages are the Holy Grail but the reform process should be transparent. I remain optimistic that the reform committee is slowly moving in the right direction.”

Scala’s own plan included 12-year term limits for elected FIFA officials from the president down, full disclosure of the financial compensation of the president and other senior directors as well as more effective integrity checks.

Swiss and U.S investigators have never been in touch, says Russia World Cup chief

** Alexei Sorokin, chief executive of Russia’s World Cup organising effort, has said that Swiss and United States investigators looking into corruption in world football soccer have not been in contact with him and he had no doubt the competition would go ahead in Russia in 2018.