Ex-IOC official Carrard to head FIFA reform task force

Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:28pm EDT
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By Simon Evans

ZURICH (Reuters) - Scandal-plagued FIFA have turned to the man who helped the International Olympic Committee (IOC) out of their corruption crisis, appointing Swiss Francois Carrard as chairman of their reform committee.

The 77-year-old is the former director general of the IOC and was commissioner of the Olympic body's reform commission following the vote for the 2002 Winter Olympics, won by Salt Lake City.

FIFA's corruption troubles came to a head in May when U.S. prosecutors indicted nine soccer officials, most of whom had FIFA positions, and five marketing and broadcasting company executives over a range of alleged offences, including fraud, money-laundering and racketeering.

"I think this is a very big crisis, it is somehow comparable to what I experienced with the IOC," Carrard told reporters on a conference call.

"There are accusations of corruption against certain leaders, there are structural reforms which are badly needed. There is the interference of the political world, of the sponsors who are very unhappy, we had similar situations with the IOC at the time. And there is the interference of the justice... it is a very, very serious crisis," he said.

A reminder of that seriousness came from the United States, as Kelly T. Currie, the chief U.S. prosecutor in Brooklyn, New York, where a grand jury indicted the 14 men, said FIFA's reforms needed to be deep.

"Superficial changes at FIFA to its statues will not be sufficient and likewise, mere changes of personnel in certain positions without a genuine commitment to good-governance will not be sufficient.

"And, as our investigation continues, we will be looking at what reforms are adopted and how they are implemented," he told a news conference on cyber security.   Continued...

Former disciplinary spokesman for the International Olympic Committee Francois Carrard pauses during a news conference in Athens in this file photo taken on August 16, 2004.