KEIR RADNEDGE in ZURICH: Theo Zwanziger remains implacably opposed to the staging of the 2022 World Cup finals even though final confirmation of the winter switch has taken the project past the point of no return.
The former president of the German federation also believes that FIFA’s reform process missed the governance boat by not introducing term limits for senior directors.
Zwanziger stated his concerns over both issues at a press conference while sitting alongside FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who is seeking a fifth term in office, and secretary-general Jerome Valcke.
All three had emerged together from the latest meeting of the world federation’s executive committee on which Zwanziger is serving his last two months before being retired by his own European federation.
Zwanziger, who has acted as a liaison for FIFA with international labour unions over concerns for the welfare of construction workers in Qatar, had spoken out only last week against the Qatar Cup.
He was not a member of the exco which voted in favour of 2022 and said: “That decision was, according to my feelings, wrong. There were other contenders and a ranking [of conditions]. But still there was a decision in favour of Qatar.
“I think that was a wrong decision and I will not cease in my criticism of it. That is not a criticism of Qatar but a criticism against those who took that vote.
“The validity of the decision can be evaluated only when all the processes have been terminated about what led to that decision and when the ethics committee will have finished and published its investigation. I still have this conviction.”
As for reforms, Zwanziger had been entrusted by Blatter with seeing through the final stages of the work set in motion under the supervision of the Basel governance expert Mark Pieth in 2011.
Zwanziger said: “We do not have a limit of mandates and this is one particular point I would like to have had.” He blamed UEFA for the derailing effect of a bizarre proposal that term limits should apply to the FIFA president.
He also complained that members of the FIFA exco were unable to work independently for the good of the game because they were constrained to defend the interests of their own regional confederations.
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