BERNE (Reuters) - Soccer’s troubled governing body FIFA began another attempt to clean up its act when its newest reform committee met for the first time in the Swiss capital on Wednesday.
Headed by Francois Carrard, a former director general of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the 13-man committee gave little away as it began a two-day meeting in a five-star hotel.
A spokesman for Carrard said there would be no comment on the proposals under discussion until a news conference on Thursday afternoon.
Officially known as the FIFA 2016 Reform Committee, it was set up by FIFA’s executive committee at its last meeting on July 20 in response to the worst crisis in FIFA’s 111-year history.
The decision came as a surprise as FIFA already had a reform process in place led by Domenico Scala, head of its audit and compliance committee.
Scala, who according to sources familiar with the matter addressed the new committee on Wednesday morning, has called for a reduction in the power of the continental confederations.
The confederations currently elect the members of FIFA’s powerful executive committee, but Scala wants the power transferred to the 209 national associations who are members of FIFA.
Scala has also proposed replacing the executive committee with two separate committees and wants term limits imposed on FIFA officials.
However, it is the continental confederations who have nominated Carrard’s 12 fellow committee members, with two from each continent.
An attempt to get FIFA’s sponsors -- such as Coca Cola Co, Visa Inc and McDonald’s Corp - to appoint two representatives to the committee failed.
FIFA is facing unprecedented pressure to reform following the May indictment by U.S. authorities of nine current and former soccer officials on bribery-related charges.
Many of them had served on FIFA’s executive committee or in other FIFA positions.
Switzerland’s attorney general is also investigating the decision to award the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar, both taken at a vote in Zurich in December 2010.
Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; editing by Toby Davis