FIFA needs major surgery, says ethics delegate

Wednesday, 1 June 2011 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

(Reuters) - FIFA needs “complete structural” reform as the current set-up is based on political motives, according to Australian Les Murray, who sits on the global soccer governing body’s 13-man ethics committee.

Murray, a broadcaster and prominent soccer pundit in Australia, attended the weekend meeting at which vice-president Jack Warner and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Mohamed bin Hammam were suspended over bribery allegations.

“I think the reform has to be very deep... there probably has to be complete structural and also constitutional reform,” he told local media on Tuesday.

“The structure of the organisation at the moment is too political. Decisions are based on political motives, and that’s not healthy for any organisation. That simply has to change.”

Trinidadian Warner and Bin Hammam were suspended over an allegation that the Qatari had paid Caribbean delegates bribes for their votes in Wednesday’s presidential election.

Bin Hammam withdrew from the presidential race on Sunday, leaving the way clear for incumbent Sepp Blatter to be re-elected unopposed for a fourth term as head of the organisation.

Blatter, however, has also been under fire over allegations the World Cup bidding process for the 2022 tournament was tainted by corruption, but the 75-year-old Swiss was cleared by the ethics committee.

Blatter denied FIFA was in crisis at a media conference on Monday, while nominating himself as the man to restore credibility to the battered organisation.