FIFA Members Institute Anti-Corruption Reforms

Constant Omari, member of the FIFA Executive Committee, speaks during the FIFA electoral congress on February 26, 2016 in Zurich

FIFA’s Extraordinary Congress voted overwhelmingly for a set of reforms Friday morning that the organization describes as sweeping.

“We stand united in our determination to put things right, so that the focus can return to football once again,” Issa Hayatou, the group’s acting president, explained in a statement. “The hard work of restoring trust and improving how we work begins now.”

Several of the adopted proposals address, even if tangentially, the group’s recent corruption scandal, which witnessed the suspension of President Sepp Blatter and the arrests of more than a dozen figures associated with the group. The reform package includes term limits and transparency in compensation. But it also features an affirmative action-type program promoting women in soccer and a vow to embrace human rights within FIFA. Recent outrage over forcing women to play on artificial turf during the World Cup held in Canada and controversy regarding the selection of Russia and Qatar as host countries may have inspired the diversity and human rights statutes.

Members voted 179-22 with six abstentions. In other words, nearly 90 percent of delegates voted for the reform package.


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