Ahead of the election of a new FIFA President on Friday, the Institute of Directors, the UK’s corporate governance champion since 1906, warned that appointing a new boss would not on its own tackle any of the deep-seated problems the organisation faces.
The new President’s first priority must be to overhaul the internal governance arrangements of the organisation in order to become more transparent and accountable. This must include abolishing the role of President and replacing it with two separate positions of Chairman and CEO, as is the norm for large multinational organisations.
Oliver Parry, Senior Corporate Adviser at the IoD, whose Royal Charter tasks it with promoting high standards of professionalism and integrity among directors, said:
“This is an existential moment for FIFA. The scandals that have engulfed the governing body of world football for several years demonstrate how dysfunctional the power structure has become. The new President must seize the opportunity to undertake root-and-branch reform of the institution, so that it frees itself of past disgraces and becomes a beacon of best practice in global sports governance.”
The IoD recommended significant changes to the way FIFA is run, including:
- Transforming its Executive Committee into a modern board of directors, containing a significant number of independent board members directly elected by the FIFA Congress.
- Replacing the role of President with two separate positions of Chairman and CEO, as is the norm for large multinational organisations.
- Undertaking a wide-ranging review of FIFA’s key processes and policies, including those relating to World Cup hosting decisions.