ZURICH: Interim president Issa Hayatou has joined the FIFA push to try to ensure that the crucial reform proposals are endorsed by congress in Zurich on Friday writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Over the last weeks FIFA ‘ambassadors’ have engaged with leading officials,  Swiss and European Union politicians, media and other stakeholders in a campaign to ensure the essential 75pc majority in favour of the reforms proposals recommended by the executive committee.

Failure to approve the reforms package would be suicidal. Swiss and United States judicial authorities would perceive it as a signal that FIFA is all about self-protection; it would lose the ‘victim’ status which has kept it afloat amid all the allegations, accusations, indictments and inequalities.

Hayatou stepped up as interim president last autumn after Sepp Blatter was suspended and then banned from the game from the ethics committee over allegations of financial misconduct in office.

The Cameroonian head of the African confederation has written an open letter to all the 209 FIFA federations to appeal for support over the reforms package.

He said: “The task in front of us is as clearly defined as it is essential: we must build a stronger FIFA.

“The proposals for reforms . . . are comprehensive and far-reaching. The subjects that reforms address – including the separation of political and management functions, good governance, accountability, transparency and diversity – are critical for the futue of FIFA and the football community.

“Our responsibility to FIFA and the game is to demonstrate that we – individually and collectively – are committed to 1, embracing reform; 2, restoring trust; 3, strengthening governance; and 4, fostering greater diversity.

“We must ensure that this congress signals a new dawn fro FIFA. This congress will also mark the beginning of the difficult work ahead as we begin implementing reform – bringing the changes to life.”