FIFA approves wide-ranging reforms at extraordinary congress

Victor Montagliani, a member of the 2016 FIFA Reform Committee, talks during the extraordinary congress.

Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

FIFA has voted in favor of reforms designed to repair its image and guard against future misdemeanors after the worst crisis in its near-112 history.

The reforms, voted on at FIFA’s extraordinary congress in Zurich, address issues of governance, accountability, transparency and diversity.

There were 207 eligible votes (Kuwait and Indonesia are suspended) and 201 votes were cast on the reforms, with 89 per cent (179 votes) in favor.

FIFA will later vote on a new president and you can watch coverage of the election on FS2 now.

A reforms committee was established after widespread corruption was exposed, leading to the dethroning of Sepp Blatter and implicating many members of football’s world governing body.

Acting president Issa Hayatou had spoken of the importance of the reforms in the lead-up to Friday’s extraordinary congress, where a first new president of the world governing body since 1998 was set to be named.

English Football Association chairman Greg Dyke on Thursday said the adoption of the reforms was more important than who was voted in as Blatter’s successor.

Francois Carrard, chairman of 2016 reform committee, spoke of the importance of adopting the reforms in full.

But Gonzalo Boye Tuset of the Palestine Football Association called for a delay, saying FIFA needed "revolution not evolution", effectively saying the reforms did not go far enough.

Gonzalo Boye Tuset said: "During a storm is not the best moment to refurbish the vote. We should wait until things calm down."

The vote went ahead, though, with the required 50 per cent turnout. And the required 75 per cent in favor was exceeded after acting secretary general Markus Kattner, the interim successor to the sacked Jerome Valcke, reminded delegates of the importance of the reforms seconds before instructing them to vote.

The reforms separate political power and management functions, abolishing the 24-seat FIFA executive committee in favour of a 36-seat FIFA council.

At least six members of the council – one per confederation – must be female, while no member will be allowed to serve more than three four-year terms. Salaries will also be disclosed.

There will be greater independence – judicial bodies will in future be completely independent – and stringent integrity checks. And the number of committees will be reduced from 26 to nine in a bid to increase efficiency.

FIFA’s 209 member associations, including the Football Association, and the six continental confederations, like UEFA, will be expected to adopt the reforms in due course.