The international professional soccer players’ union FIFPRO yesterday called for the “most stringent tests of integrity” to be applied to candidates for the presidency of scandal-tainted FIFA.
With the deadline for candidates looming on Monday, FIFPRO gave a clear indication that it believes only a candidate from outside FIFA can lead soccer’s global governing body out of its current crisis.
With FIFA’s outgoing president Sepp Blatter and the leading candidate to take over, Michel Platini, both now suspended, FIFPRO said: “There is no doubt the present mayhem has left FIFA morally bankrupt.”
The union has already declared that it has “no confidence in FIFA’s ability to reform from within.”
“A clean break from the past is essential for FIFA to climb out of the toxic pit which continues to produce serious accusations of corrupt behavior on almost a daily basis,” said a statement, which sets out the union’s criteria for candidates.
The union said any replacement for Blatter elected on Feb. 26 would need experience to “drive reform” of a “politically complex global body,” experience of governance and human rights, and understanding of football as a sport and business.
“Suffice to say, the future leader of FIFA has to be a proven reformer, an impeccable figure who passes the most stringent tests of integrity, carried out independently, possibly by more than one external body,” FIFPRO said.
“Eliminating even the slightest perception of conflict of interest will be a critical part of a robust reform process, as opposed to the charade of self-regulation that has damaged the image of the world’s most popular sport.”
France soccer great Platini is suspended because of a Swiss criminal investigation into a US$2 million payment he received from FIFA in 2011.
He said he was still registered as a candidate for the presidency.
The other contenders who say they have officially registered with the backing of five national associations are Prince Ali bin al Hussein, a former FIFA vice president from Jordan, and Trinidad and Tobago captain David Nahkid.
Jerome Champagne, who previously served as FIFA director of international relations, said he filed papers to enter the election on Monday night.
Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim al Khalifa, president of the Asian Football Confederation from Bahrain, is expected to announce he is running before Monday’s deadline, while others could follow.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Hong Kong media reported that police briefly detained a man in a Liverpool team jersey who shouted “long live Liverpool” during anti-government protests on Wednesday, over suspicion that he was inciting independence. In-Media reported that the man was across the street from police officers who were conducting stop-and-searches on a group of protesters, when he shouted: “Long live Liverpool.” Others reportedly cheered and joined in the chant, before officers detained him. The man told In-Media that police had accused him of inciting Hong Kong independence, which now is a punishable crime. He said that he has been a fan of the English soccer
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there