ATHENS: FIFA has acted where European federation UEFA felt it could not, or would not, by ordering a ‘normalization committee’ to take over the running of the Greek football association writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

The decision was taken at last week’s meeting of the newly-expanded FIFA governing council after several years of increasing controversy over the Greek FA’s inability to act against violence in the stadia and corruption allegations.

Deputy Sports Minister Stavros Kontonis has welcomed the move as “a positive development which will be combined with the appointment of credible people to resolve problems which have plagued Greek sports for years”.

Costakis Koutsokoumnis, the head of the Cyprus federation, has been appointed by FIFA to undertake the initial steps including choosing the members of the panel.

FIFA undertook similar action earlier this year in Argentina.

Koutsokoumnis wrote on his Facebook account that he expected selection of committee members to take up to three weeks.

FIFA said in a fax send to the Greek federation and signed by secretary-general Fatma Samoura, that the committee would revise the relevant regulations to bring them into line with FIFA standards.

The letter added: “The FIFA Council was briefed on the different issues faced by the Greek federation in recent months, such as the tense relationships with the authorities, due partly to discrepancies between national laws and the independence of the federation.

“The resignation of the president and other members of the federation’s executive committee due to judicial procedures, the allegations linked to refereeing, as well as the difficulties surrounding the management of ethics cases.”