UEFA calls for 12-year limit for FIFA president

BY foxsports • January 24, 2013

European football leaders want to let the next FIFA president have 12 years in office - four years more than FIFA's top anti-corruption adviser recommends.

UEFA's 53 member nations proposed Thursday that football's world governing body should follow the International Olympic Committee. It imposed a 12-year presidential limit in reforms after the Salt Lake City bidding scandal.

''It makes some sense,'' UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino told reporters. ''If the IOC has adopted such a rule for their president - following a situation you all know - this must have had some reasons, and some good reasons as well.''

Current FIFA president Sepp Blatter will have completed 17 years in office when his mandate ends in 2015.

UEFA President Michel Platini is favorite to succeed 76-year-old Blatter, who has pledged not to seek re-election even though ongoing reforms would not prevent him standing. It is not expected that changes, including an age limit of 72 for election candidates, would apply to officials already in place.

Still, UEFA's proposal conflicts with FIFA adviser Mark Pieth's call for an 8-year presidential limit to help curb corruption.

Infantino said UEFA members were unanimous in wanting an initial eight-year mandate at FIFA to be followed by a second term of four years.

''It is right that you give time to a FIFA president to implement his ideas and his program,'' Infantino said. ''Find me a FIFA president who has been in office for less than 12 years in any case?''

Pieth was critical of UEFA's approach to FIFA reforms in an interview with a German newspaper at the weekend. The Swiss law professor suggested that its leaders, including Platini and vice president Angel Maria Villar of Spain, were prioritizing their own ambitions over the general good of world football.

UEFA also declined to support Pieth's call to limit FIFA's 25-member executive committee to three 4-year terms. UEFA, which currently has delegates with 25, 17 and 15 years' service at FIFA, proposes no limit.

UEFA is taking part in a worldwide consultation of FIFA's 209 member nations on suggested reforms which they will vote at their congress in Mauritius.

Blatter has set the May 31 gathering as a deadline to complete his promised two-year cycle after a series of damaging corruption scandals.

Though Blatter has hinted he might wish to extend his FIFA reign, his reforms are generally seen as part of his intended legacy.

One UEFA proposal Thursday could help smooth Platini's expected candidature by preventing a rival challenger from France.

UEFA proposes that FIFA presidential candidates should be supported by ''their own national federation'' and have ''active office'' at national or confederation level.

''Not coming from nowhere,'' Infantino commented.

If such a rule was passed, a French nomination for Platini would block former FIFA international relations director Jerome Champagne from seeking election.

There was support in the proposals for the four British associations which are often targets for criticism from FIFA members.

UEFA members back the historical British privilege of a guaranteed FIFA vice presidency, though members want the delegate to be elected by all UEFA members and not chosen by the four alone.

The British associations could also retain their positions on football's rule-making body, known as IFAB.

Infantino said European countries recognize the ''history, tradition and culture'' of football for the British to be guardians of the games rules that were written in England 150 years ago.

Still, UEFA wants Blatter to be more transparent about how FIFA uses its votes on the IFAB panel.

In another subtle criticism of how Blatter's executive committee operates, UEFA called for board members to always get ''appropriate prior notice'' and documents before making decisions.

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