Fifa snubbed by anti-corruption society


Soccer: Fifa’s anti-corruption drive has been undermined by the world governing body’s advisors Transparency International rejecting a seat on the commission steering the reforms.

TI, a global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption, turned down Fifa’s offer in protest at the chairman of the independent governance committee, Professor Mark Pieth, being appointed and paid by Fifa.

Sylvia Schenk, TI’s senior adviser for sport, said she was happy with Pieth being paid to draw up proposals - but the committee chairman should be completely independent of Fifa.

She is also unhappy that Pieth stated yesterday he would not be investigating allegations of past wrongdoing by Fifa members but focusing on the future.

Schenk told Press Association Sport: “We believe that someone paid by Fifa cannot be a member of the independent commission.

“We proposed that Pieth should to do the work as the secretariat but with the commission to oversee that work. He has a contract with Fifa so he is not independent in that sense.

“Fifa wrote to us on Tuesday offering our managing director to be co-chair but we declined at once. We had already told Fifa as long ago as September that we proposed Pieth to do the work, and it is fine for him to be paid but the committee itself to supervise this must be truly independent.

“We also learned yesterday that he will not be supervising investigations into the past. Our report says the first steps to getting rid of the past should be to appoint a law firm to investigate all the things that have happened in the past.

“There are members of the Fifa executive committee who are under suspicion so the commission chairman really needs to be totally independent.”

Pieth, a professor of criminal law at Basle University, has refused to say how much he and his staff are being paid and suggested TI were unhappy because

they wanted to lead the committee.

He told Bloomberg: “I think Mrs Schenk is playing a turf war here. I’m cheesed off. We can’t start asking audit firms to do their job for free just to make sure they are independent. What you’ll get is something quite pathetic.”