KEIR RADNEDGE in ZURICH —- Gianni Infantino has pressed on with building a new team to try to turn around the battered image of what he has taken to describing as ‘New FIFA.
American lawyer Edward Hanover has been appointed to the new post of chief compliance officer and the Swiss subsidiary of PwC (PricewaterhouseCooper) has been commissioned as auditor in place of already-departed KPMG.
The latest appointments to the world football federation by its president follow the arrival in Zurich over the last four months of Fatma Samoura as secretary-general, Zvonimir Boban as special adviser on football matters, Kjetil Siem as strategic adviser, Tomaz Vesel as audit and compliance chairman and Fabrice Jouhaud as chief communication Officer.
FIFA has had one comparatively recent positive experience with the PwC organisation. It was a PwC audit of financial irregularities within the Asian Football Confederation which led to the imposition of a life ban from football on Qatari Mohamed Bin Hammam, a former AFC president.
KPMG ended its decade-long association with FIFA last June .
Only 10 days earlier questions had been raised over the company’s apparent acquiesence over the self-servingly generous contracts in favour of former president Sepp Blatter and sacked secretary-general Jerome Valcke and financial director Markus Kattner.
While KPMG had no specific duty to query the pay policy under Blatter, an auditor would certainly have been expected to flag up payments and contracts astonishingly out of line with business standards. Apparently it did not.
However in September last year, alerted to concerns about the unhealthy financial cosyness of FIFA bosses, KPMG Switzerland and its parent company KPMG International launched an internal review of the company’s work for the world football federation.
A FIFA statement described the PwC appointment as the outcome of a “thorough, transparent and open selection process conducted with several different auditing companies.”
The statement added: “PwC’s capabilities, reputation and global reach make it an ideal fit for FIFA as it continues its comprehensive reform programme.” The appointment is expected to be ratified by next year’s congress for a standard three-year term.
The role of chief compliance officer was one of the recommendations in the Carrard committee reforms which were adopted by congress last February when Infantino was voted in as president.
Hanover will start work next month, reporting to Samoura.
A FIFA statement described him as “an experienced international compliance executive” after appointments in the United States, Europe and Asia with “multinational pharmaceutical corporations in challenging markets with complex business operations.”
Most recently he was head of compliance for emerging markets with Takeda Pharmaceuticals International in Singapore.
Hanover’s professional background is ironic considering the criticism Infantino levelled at departed audit chairman Domenico Scala.
After Scala resigned in May following a string of operational disagreements between the two men, Infantino complained “he thinks football should be run on the same management principles as a pharmaceutical company.”
# # # # # # #