FIFA reformers to keep plugging away: 'New FIFA Now' head

Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:54am EST
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By Brian Homewood

ZUG, Switzerland (Reuters) - The pressure group campaigning for reform of FIFA has uncovered a reluctance within football to publicly back the organization even though many support its motives, one of its founding members has told Reuters.

Jaimie Fuller, an Australian businessman who previously led the "Change Cycling Now" lobby group following a series of doping scandals, said there was a reticence to speak out against world soccer's ruling body.

"I had some conversations and the response was, privately, 'We love what you're doing but publicly we can't get involved with you politically'," said Fuller, the chairman of the Swiss-based sportswear company SKINS.

"Whether you talk about players' representation, or supporters’ representation, or national associations, or about sponsors in particular, I have a degree of empathy for the position many find themselves in," he added.

Fuller's company values state that "athletes should handle themselves with honesty and integrity at all times. They should play hard and fair -- be determined and driven with the ‘true spirit of competition’."

So it is not hard to see why its chairman should find himself part of the "New FIFA Now" pressure group which believes there is little honesty or integrity at FIFA, which has been discredited by a number of scandals over the last two decades.

New FIFA Now was launched in Brussels on Jan. 21 with Fuller on the top table and an abundance of politicians and disenchanted sports officials in attendance.

But Fuller told Reuters he was disappointed that FIFPro, the world players' union and various supporters' groups were absent.   Continued...

A reporter uses his cell phone as he walks past a FIFA logo in front of FIFA headquarters in Zurich in this file photo taken on October 29, 2007. REUTERS/Michael Buholzer