FIFA’s ethics committee on Thursday made a demand for wider powers in its pursuit of uncovering corruption, notably calling for greater transparency in proceedings against accused parties.
The independent watchdog’s twin chairmen listed various demands in a statement released hours after the extradition to the United States of one of the seven FIFA officials arrested in dawn raids in Zurich in May.
The committee’s demands included the ability to confirm ongoing proceedings against accused parties “upon request” and to justify judgements publically, even if the decision has not yet become legally effective.
“Transparency should be accorded greater importance in the future when weighing up the protection of privacy against disclosure,” Cornel Borbély, the Ethics Committee’s investigatory chamber chairman maintained.
Hans-Joachim Eckert, chairman of the committee’s adjudicatory chamber, wants the right to publish verdicts.””This should be regardless of whether or not the football official in question is appealing the decision,” he said.
“Where there has been public misinformation, the Ethics Committee must also have the right to offer rectification,” Eckert added.
Eckert and Borbely believe “greater transparency in investigations would help efforts to uncover and clear up fraud, as it would encourage potential informants to support the proceedings.”
They argue that better transparency will have a preventative effect “as copycat culprits will also have to face exposure”.
The Ethics Committee’s plea comes as FIFA battles an unprecedented corruption scandal triggered when the seven FIFA officials where arrested on May 27 accused of involvement in more than $150 million of bribes given for marketing deals for football tournaments in North and South America.
An investigation is also looking into the 2018 and 2024 World Cup bids which went to Russia and Qatar respectively.
With his organisation engulfed in scandal FIFA president Sepp Blatter announced he was standing down days after being elected for a fifth term.
FIFA said it backed the ethics committee demands.
“FIFA fully supports the initiative….. The request and proposals are in line with the ongoing revision process started by FIFA and the Ethics Committee in 2013,” said a FIFA statement.
“We are dedicated to improving FIFA as an organisation, and will continue to strengthen its governance and accountability. Our work in this area continuously evolves, and we are focused on achieving the highest standards for the international football community. – Agence France-Presse