Presidential candidate Salman wants to divide FIFA in two

Wed Dec 30, 2015 10:18am EST
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By Simon Evans

MIAMI (Reuters) - The frontrunner in the FIFA presidential election, Asian football chief Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, says he wants to divide the organization into two separate entities as part of a 'turnaround' plan for the crisis-hit organization.

Salman, who is president of the Asian Football Confederation, said in a statement on Wednesday that FIFA's governance and business functions would be separated if he took over the helm following the Feb. 26 elections.

The Bahraini suggested dividing the organization into a 'Football FIFA' that will be responsible for governance and running events and tournaments; and a 'Business FIFA' which would handle all commercial, financial and funding matters.

"Only by strictly separating the generation of funds and supervising the flow of all monies spent can we guarantee the rebirth of a new FIFA that is accountable and is a good corporate citizen that deserves everybody’s respect", Salman said in the statement.

FIFA's 209 member associations will vote for a new president at a congress in Zurich on Feb. 26. Previous president Sepp Blatter was banned from football for eight years by FIFA's Ethics Committee earlier this month.

United States prosecutors have indicted 27 current or former soccer officials, including eight ex-FIFA Executive Committee members and the current heads of both the North and South American federations, over allegations they ran bribery schemes connected to the sale of TV rights for soccer competitions.

Twelve people in sports marketing and two companies have been convicted.

Swiss authorities are also investigating FIFA and on Wednesday handed over the first batch of evidence to U.S authorities after freezing around $80 million in assets in 13 bank accounts.   Continued...

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) head Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa arrives for a meeting with the FIFA task force in Doha February 24, 2015.  REUTERS/Mohammed Dabbous