ZURICH: What do Michel Platini, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Christian Karembeu, Jose Luis Chilavert and Demetrio Albertini all have in common? Answer: they are all World Cup veterans who share membership of FIFA’s newly-reconstituted Football Committee writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
This committee is the star-studded assembly which has taken over from the doomed Football Task Force 2014 which failed dismally in meeting its brief to devise ideas to improve the quality of the football at the next World Cup in Brazil.
Other members include FIFA exco members Chuck Blazer and Jacques Anouma as well as Real Madrid president Florentino Perez and English Premir League chief executive Richard Scudamore.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter tweeted his approval of the new team’s “great discussions and decisions” but these, as revealed by a formal statement, address administrative rather than football issues.
Thus the committee received an update on women’s football, discussed matchfixing, financial fair play, the protection of minors, players’ agents and third-party ownership of players.
The committee decided to ask FIFA to tighten up rules and regulations to ban third-party ownership.
Chairman of the committee is Michel Platini. This is an intriguing role for the UEFA president and former France skipper since he is unequivocally opposed to technology in football as represented by the approval of goal-line systems.
Platini said: “I am very proud to chair this prestigious committee. The discussions we had today highlighted the competence of these members to address and effectively tackle crucial areas that impact football.”
The committee membership may excite comment. It includes representatives of playing, coaching and administrative sectors though the absence of perspectives from outside the ‘magic circle’ may prove a weakness.
Blatter was happy enough.
He said: “Today is a decisive day in football. This committee has a huge mandate to tackle the important issues affecting football, starting with how to combat threats to football such as match-fixing and dealing with the structure and development of the game, as well as matters that are directly related to the game itself.
“The new composition is a veritable who’s who of football and these high-profile experts are best qualified to find the best solutions for the game.”
One notable presence on the committee was that of Rummenigge who has often been highly critical of both Blatter and FIFA in his roles as chief executive of Bayern Munich and as chairman of the European Club Association.
Rummenigge, at least, approved FIFA’s introduction of the computerised transfer matching system. He said: “The current system and the ITC are very good and ensure that all transfers can be handled properly through FIFA.”
Committee membership: Michel Platini (chairman), Chuck Blazer (US, joint deputy-chairman) and Jacques Anouma (Ivory Coast, joint deputy-chairman), Tengku Abdullah (Mal), Demetrio Albertini (It), Tony Baffoe (Gha), Sylvie Beliveau (Can), Carlos Bilardo (Arg), Kalusha Bwalya (Zam), Jose Luis Chilavert (Par), Karen Espelund (Nor), Steffi Jones (Ger), Christian Karembeu (Fr/New Cal), Harry Kewell (Aust), Rabah Madjer (Alg), Francisco Maturana (Col), Florentino Perez (Sp), Philippe Piat (Fr), Sofoklis Pilavios (Gr), Jaime Rodriguez (ElS), Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (Ger), Richard Scudamore (Eng), Kozo Tashima (Jpn), George Weah (Lib), Theodore Whitmore (Jam). Special advisers: Franz Beckenbauer (Ger), Pele (Brz).
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