FIFA reforms could make situation worse: players' union

Wed Feb 3, 2016 9:50am EST
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By Brian Homewood

ZURICH (Reuters) - Proposed reforms to soccer's scandal-plagued governing body FIFA would leave power still in the hands of national associations and conferderations, shutting out players, fans and clubs, the world players' union said on Wednesday.

"Football's monopolistic structure will be further entrenched under the proposed, so-called reforms," FIFPro said in a statement.

FIFA is in the throes of a huge graft scandal, with criminal investigations underway in the United States and Switzerland.

Forty-one individuals, many of them national association presidents, and entities have been indicted in the United States and FIFA's own ethics committee has banned leading officials including its president, Sepp Blatter, barred for eight years.

An extraordinary FIFA Congress on Feb. 26 will elect a new president and be asked to vote on reforms aimed at preventing further scandals.

FIFPro, which represents more than 60,000 professional footballers worldwide, said the reforms failed to give players, fans and clubs the voice they deserved in the running of FIFA.

"There will be even more power in the hands of the confederations and national member associations of FIFA who have been the source of corruption and the worst crisis in FIFA’s history.

An overhaul was urgently needed "otherwise, we're faced with a potentially worse scenario than before," it said.   Continued...

The FIFA logo is seen outside the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, December 17, 2015. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich