Prince Ali backs reforms but not under Sepp Blatter
FIFA needs reforms but they should be proposed and implemented not under embattled incumbent Sepp Blatter but by his successor, former vice-president Jordanian Prince Ali bin Hussein told AFP on Wednesday.
Paris: FIFA needs reforms but they should be proposed and implemented not under embattled incumbent Sepp Blatter but by his successor, former vice-president Jordanian Prince Ali bin Hussein told AFP on Wednesday.
The 39-year-old -- who lost to Blatter in the election in late May before the Swiss dramatically announced he was stepping down a few days later as a devastating corruption scandal enveloped football`s governing body -- said the reform process which has been set in train and due to be looked at by a task force was simply "window dressing".
Blatter announced on Monday an 11-strong task force, with an independent chairperson, would prepare reforms including limits on terms for leaders, tougher background checks on executive committee members and the publication of salaries of top officials.
Pressure to do something had piled on FIFA by major sponsors following the US authorities charging 14 people, including three former FIFA vice-presidents, of taking or giving millions of dollars of bribes in return for football marketing and television contracts.
Ali, though, believes that now is not the time to start the process while the old regime remains in place.
"We need a clear process, clear timelines, and a very clear remit," Ali said in a statement referring to the Reform Process sent to AFP.
"And all this should belong to the new President.
"Although reforms are welcome and much needed, they are the mandate of the new President, not the old one.
"These reforms will be applicable to the FAs and the new President, and therefore they need to be part of his mandate.
"It is the role of the new President to put in place the necessary systems to implement the changes that FIFA so desperately needs, not a Task Force trying to rush this through in less than 60 days."
Ali -- who is likely to stand again in the presidential election on February 26 Jordanian FA vice-president Sala Sabra told AFP in early June -- said the timeline suggested for reviewing the reforms was too short to gain the input of all the Football Associations globally.
"I fully agree that a FIFA Task Force on Reforms should be set up, but if this is to work it needs to have the full buy-in of the FAs," said Ali.
"The process needs to be clearly defined and the FAs need to be given the opportunity to have an input, but this is being rushed through without any consultation process and that`s where it`s flawed.
"How can this Task Force address change in any meaningful way within such a short timeline? There can be no quick fix to issues that are clearly structural."
Ali, half-brother to Jordanian King Abdullah, said the make-up of the taskforce should be totally independent with no links to FIFA.
"Any Task Force that really will have the clout to bring about such vital reform should be a totally independent body, not from within the governance structure of FIFA," he said.
"The composition of the Task Force should be about the quality of the contribution its members can make, not the overall number of FAs that they have.
"Nor should it be a satellite of the current Executive Committee with the Confederation Presidents choosing the representatives.
"Having a neutral chairman is not enough to guarantee the independence of this Task Force.
"It should be a truly independent group.
"The reform process needs to be far-reaching and consultative. Window dressing isn`t enough."