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FIFA reform panel ends first meet, pledges "meaningful and lasting" change

A committee charged with drawing up sweeping reforms at FIFA finished its first meeting on Thursday, pledging that "meaningful and lasting" change at world football`s embattled governing body remains possible.

FIFA reform panel ends first meet, pledges "meaningful and lasting" change

Zurich: A committee charged with drawing up sweeping reforms at FIFA finished its first meeting on Thursday, pledging that "meaningful and lasting" change at world football`s embattled governing body remains possible.

Committee chief Francois Carrard did not make specific proposals for reform at FIFA, which has been shaken by an unprecedented corruption scandal, but said all key areas of the organisation were under review.

"Overall governance, financial mechanisms and the responsibilities and scope of FIFA`s various bodies," were discussed at the two-day meet in the Swiss capital, Carrard said.

"We have made important steps towards delivering meaningful and lasting reform," added the 77-year-old Swiss lawyer, who was chosen to lead the committee by outgoing FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

Carrard previously headed a panel tasked with cleaning up the International Olympic Committee, which was engulfed by scandal in 1999 in connection with the bidding process for the 2002 games in Salt Lake City.

Although Carrard comes with a solid anti-graft pedigree, some have questioned the decision to staff the 12-member FIFA reform committee largely with people from inside the football world.

By contrast, the IOC panel included independent people with significant international reputations, including former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger.

The FIFA panel members were chosen by football`s six confederations, a fact that "reflects their diversity," Carrard said.

The committee`s next meeting is set for October 16, again in Bern, where an initial reform project will be discussed, he added.

Imposing term limits on FIFA`s president, greater transparency regarding the president`s compensation and a structural overhaul are some of the changes that many believe are needed to restore FIFA`s severely tarnished global image.

Carrard said he could not guarantee that the committee`s proposals will be implemented, "because no one can say in advance" what the recommendations will be.

Seven FIFA executives and seven sports marketing executives have been indicted by the US Justice Department for charges related to corruption and influence peddling.

The Swiss Attorney General has opened a separate probe, looking at the decisions to award to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively.

Blatter, who has not been charged but who many experts believe must have been aware of the graft at FIFA, has agreed to stand down when his replacement is chosen at a special election in February.

Blatter officially opened the reform committee`s first meeting, following a request from Carrard, a move the Swiss lawyer said underscored the importance of the meet. 

From Zee News

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