FIFA urged to look at controversial World Cup vote processes
22:53 GMT, 27 March 2012
A new independent inquiry into the controversial 2018 and 2022 World Cup votes is expected to be one of the recommendations in an official report detailing root-and-branch reforms needed at FIFA.
The sweeping proposals include independent directors joining the FIFA executive committee, transparency over salaries and an outside judicial body regulating on future corruption issues. They would also probe current scandals involving FIFA top brass, such as the decisions to stage World Cups in Russia and Qatar.
The tough measures are the work of FIFA’s own governance committee, headed by Swiss lawyer Mark Pieth, professor of criminology at Basle University, whose findings are to be discussed this week by the FIFA executive. If accepted, they will go to the FIFA congress in May for approval.
Controversy: Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup despite much opposition
Pieth had been expected to detail only how FIFA should run world football in future. But the way continued allegations around the World Cup bidding process have been swept under the carpet has led to his committee’s likely proposal to re-visit the voting scandal in Zurich in December 2010 — when England, Australia and the United States felt especially aggrieved by serial double dealing.
Lord Goldsmith, the former Attorney General who is on the 13-strong governance group, has said: ‘We have looked closely at the way allegations regarding those World Cup host selections have been dealt with and we have not been satisfied with the level of investigation which has taken place.’
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Meanwhile, the FA would happily trade the British vice-presidency on the FIFA executive for continued home nations influence on the rules-governing IFAB.
Yet such is the opposition of Germany’s Theo Zwanziger, especially to the GB-centric composition of IFAB, that representatives from South America, Europe and Asia are expected to be included in future.
Spreading it thin
Sky co-commentator Matt Le Tissier surprisingly drew attention to a notorious failed betting scam when he remarked after Fulham won the first corner against Manchester United after 13 minutes on Monday that it would have been a good spread bet.
The former Southampton forward said in his autobiography he attempted to concede a throw-in straight from the kick-off against Wimbledon in 1995 because money was riding on it. Team-mate Neil Shipperley, unaware of the punt, kept the ball in play.
Gareth Southgate, the FA’s part-time head of elite performance, ticks all the boxes for the advertised FA technical director post. But he is likely to have to forfeit his pundit role with ITV if he is appointed.
Southgate has been offered a new contract by ITV, but the high-profile FA position, based at St George’s Park in Burton, is not a good fit with analysing England games for ITV.
One almost done, another to go
RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie’s imminent call over the appointment of the next England coach will have to be followed by an equally critical long-term decision over the future of the performance department headed by Twickenham’s great survivor Rob Andrew.
Performances must improve: Rob Andrew continues his work behind the scenes
The Andrew division will effectively receive a vote of confidence if Stuart Lancaster, who has risen through the system, gets the England job.
Along with Lancaster, all the other main age-group England coaches — John Fletcher, Peter Walton and Rob Hunter — are appointments by Andrew. Were Sir Clive Woodward, who has been the elephant in the room since he left the RFU in 2005, to return to Twickenham as an overall director of rugby, there would be no room for professional rugby director Andrew.
Auschwitz on agenda
A meeting at the FA next week will start putting in place the arrangements for England players to make a visit to the Auschwitz concentration camp from their Polish hotel base in Krakow before the start of Euro 2012.
Yet the final say on how many of the squad go on such a harrowing trip will be down to the yet-to-be appointed manager.
The FA are keeping to their agreed schedule of delaying naming Fabio Capello’s successor until mid-April at the earliest — even if the public are getting impatient.