F1: FIA Backs Todt In Support Agreement Controversy With Ward

President and his wife, Michelle Yeoh, walk in the paddock following practice for the Italian F1 GP. (Photo: Getty Images)

The FIA’s Ethics Committee has sided with Jean Todt over the support agreements issue – and left would-be presidential candidate struggling to find the support with which to be formally nominated.

If he doesn’t, Todt will be unopposed in the coming election.

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Ward complained to the Ethics Committee that Todt has obtained support for his re-election campaign this year when attending regional FIA gatherings on FIA business, well in advance of the election process being set in motion.

Ward has stated that, essentially, this has made it impossible to gain nomination – and in the case of North America, 11 of 12 members have already agreed to support Todt.

The Ethics Committee reports directly to Todt.

Ward issued the following statement on Thursday night:

“I regret that the committee did not respond to my protest about its composition which included a member from a club that was directly involved in the support agreement issue and clearly supportive of Mr Todt. It is very disappointing that they refused to do so even after a very senior club president had written independently to the committee asking that its composition should be ‘uncontested and above suspicion.’

“The 2013 FIA election process is already marred by confusion over the rules and the use of support agreements. These irregularities notably concern the requirement to have the support of seven vice presidents for sport. I think the ethics committee has failed to understand the connection between support agreements ratified by an FIA region on bloc and the huge difficulty this creates for any candidate trying to obtain vice presidents for their list. In my view, the ethics committee can and should consider such issues and make recommendations for change.

“My purpose in standing has been to highlight the current flaws in the governance of the FIA. I think the current confusion over the election rules which require a change even after the contest has started proves my point. It is also regrettable that the ethics committee has, in my opinion, failed to address important issues about the fairness and transparency of the election process.”

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