'Old-school' sports chiefs need to change: IOC's Prince Feisal

Wed Nov 25, 2015 9:14am EST
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By Karolos Grohmann

BERLIN (Reuters) - International federations need to change to become more transparent with some of them still stuck in their 'old-school' past, Jordanian Olympic Committee chief Prince Feisal Al Hussein said on Wednesday.

Prince Feisal, who is an International Olympic Committee member and whose brother, Prince Ali, is running for the presidency of world soccer's governing body FIFA, said the image of professional sports was taking a hit.

World athletics (IAAF) and FIFA are in the midst of their deepest crisis in their respective long histories with top officials investigated for corruption, money-laundering and bribery while allegations of widespread doping in professional sports has already led to the ban of Russian track and field athletes, with new IAAF chief Sebastian Coe under mounting pressure.

"When you are looking at high level athletes it does make it challenging with the difficulties several federations are facing," said Prince Feisal, who is also founder and chairman of non-profit, peace-building organization Generations For Peace, when asked by Reuters about the consequences of the current scandals on world sport.

"We do feel globally there is the impression professional sports is unfortunately corrupt because of some of the issues," he said in a conference call, adding federations needed to become more transparent.

"We would love to see transformation occur. We would like to see greater openness, transparency and accountability. As members of a sports authority we have the responsibility to be transparent and accountable, " he said.

He said federations and sports organizations were now all brushed into the same category despite major differences in transparency between them. "That is not fair," he said.

"But not everybody has been able to transform. Some people may be very old-school and have not evaluated their processes to have that transparency and accountability in place."   Continued...

People are seen through a glass as they gather inside the headquarters of the Russian Olympic Committee in Moscow, Russia, November 18, 2015. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev