Reformists launch coalition to change FIFA

Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:44am EST
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By Mike Collett

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - FIFA faces potentially the greatest challenge to its authority since it was formed 111 years ago following the launch on Wednesday of the 'New FIFA Now' coalition of reformists calling for change.

Following years of controversies and endless allegations of bribery and corruption directed at the highest levels of FIFA governance, the campaign to change world soccer's governing body was launched at the European Parliament.

"There has never before been an attempt to bring together an international coalition of people from different institutions and organizations, whether it's soccer, business or parliaments, who have seen FIFA's image go from bad to worse," British MP Damian Collins told Reuters.

Collins, who has been the driving force behind the creation of 'New FIFA Now' added: "We realized that the scale of the problem had become so great it needed a huge response which we are trying to start today.

"I think we have reached a tipping point and I hope we are giving confidence to more people around the world to join the call for FIFA to change."

While the coalition has no power, as a pressure group in the run-up to the FIFA presidential election in May, it could have an influence on the way FIFA is governed in the future and is the first time so many different groups have publicly stated their lack of faith in soccer's ruling body.

Speakers included David Triesman, the ex-chairman of the English FA and a member of Britain's House of Lords, as well as FIFA presidential candidate Jerome Champagne and possible candidate Harold Mayne-Nicholls of Chile and a scattering of MEPs.

The group launched a Charter for FIFA Reform and a 10-point plan for change.   Continued...

Journalists are reflected in a logo at the FIFA headquarters after a meeting of the executive committee in Zurich October 4, 2013. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann