BRUSSELS: Football players and fans “who are concerned with how world football’s governing body, FIFA, is run” have been invited to join what is described as a “peoples’ campaign” for a new world football federation.
The campaign will kick-off at a Summit to be held at the European Parliament in Brussels on January 21 that will be attended reportedly by presidential candidate Jerome Champagne as well as the man who led the technical inspection team for the 2018-2022 World Cup bids Harold Mayne-Nicholls.
Also scheduled to attend is Lord David Triesman, who was forced to stand down as leader of the England 2018 bid after a media sting.
British MP Damian Collins, a vociferous critic of FIFA, said: “People have had enough. I speak to amateur and professional players, fans, and mums and dads whose children play and love the game. It has reached the stage where FIFA is a laughing stock.
“We all love the game. But we all detest how it’s run.”
Collins said the Brussels summit was a “first vital step” in making a new FIFA a reality. It was not immediately clear whether this meant a root and branch reform of FIFA or the creation of an entirely new world governing body.
Other attendees expected by European MPs and co-hosts Ivo Belet of Belgium and Emma McClarkin of England include British MPs Gerry Sutcliffe, John Leech and Collins. Other attendees include the Chairman of SKINS, Jaimie Fuller, and Bonita Mersiades a former senior executive of the Australian FA and the Australian World Cup bid.
Collins added: “We don’t intend to talk about what is wrong with FIFA, as we all know what’s wrong.
“The experience since the presidential election in 2011 – when we were promised things would change – shows that FIFA is incapable of reforming itself. But we also know that FIFA’s problems go much further back than that.”
Collins says that while recent events concerning the Garcia report into the conduct of the 2018/2022 World Cup Bids was the final motivation needed for he and other MPs to take action, the report and its publication is not a ‘first order’ issue.
“Like the decisions surrounding Russia and Qatar, the farce surrounding the Garcia report is symptomatic of a governing body where democracy, transparency and accountability were long ago forsaken in place of corruption, mismanagement and self-interest.”
The summit would focus on what mechanisms can be employed to make real change happen.
Collins said: “This is not about shifting deck chairs on the executive committee of FIFA. It is real change for a new style of organisation that is befitting of FIFA’s position overseeing the biggest sport in the world.
“We want to see football governed by people who make decisions and take action in a transparent manner, and who are held accountable in the best interests of the sport and civil society.”
A petition has been launched at www.newfifanow.org.