KEIR RADNEDGE in ZURICH: Issa Hayatou hailed a “thrilling” moment for FIFA as the acting president of the world football federation delivered his report on the five months of his interregnum after the suspension of Sepp Blatter.
These have been turbulent times with FIFA assailed from all sides by probing lawyers, worried sponsors and vastly critical outside world – in particular after the arrests and indictments of 41 individuals and corporatkions in the United States’ FIFAGate corruption investigation.
Hayatou acknowledged it all and accepted that “the future of FIFA is at stake after a year of crisis and ups and downs.”
He added: “Let’s be crystal clear: the smallest of minorities who have caused such harm over the past year do not have their place in football or anywhere – and they definitely do not have their place in the future of our organisation.
“I am convinced about our unity and that we have a great opportunity to set the record straight and seize this opportunity.
“The difficult chore of repairing and restoring the organisation rests on our shoulders.
The events of the last months should never happen again
“We will set up a FIFA that will be more transparent, a stronger FIFA, and win back the respect of everybody through the world.”
Hayatou reviewed the reform proposals and described the package as “a solid foundation which will allow FIFA to bloom again and will deter those who might be tempted to behave in an unprincipled manner.
“We are at a turning point in our history . . . we need to show the world we are ready to take on the measures to protect our organisation and football and regain the trust of those who made football the great international phenomenon it is today.”
Hence this was a “thrilling time because today we lay the cornerstone of a new FIFA.”