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FIFA members vote in favour of reform

Updated: Friday, 26 Feb 2016 14:37 | Comments

A new FIFA president will be appointed later today
A new FIFA president will be appointed later today

FIFA officials have voted in favour of reforms designed to repair the image of football's world governing body.

The reforms address issues of governance, accountability, transparency and diversity and were devised after the worst crisis in FIFA's 112-year history with FIFA officials past and present caught up in corruption inquiries being conducted in the United States and Switzerland.

FIFA members have gathered in Zurich for an extraordinary congress to elect a new president after Sepp Blatter resigned amid the scandals, but prior to that vote officials were asked to vote on the new reform proposals.

There were 201 votes cast, with 89% (179 votes) supporting the reform programme.

Gonzalo Boye Tuset of the Palestine Football Association had called for a delay, saying FIFA needed "revolution not evolution" - effectively saying the reforms did not go far enough.

Boye Tuset said: "During a storm is not the best moment to refurbish the vote. We should wait until things calm down."

But his fellow members voted overwhelmingly in favour, with only 11% (22 votes) objecting to the reforms, which were approved in full.

A reforms committee was established after widespread corruption was exposed, dethroning Blatter and implicating many members of football's world governing body.

One aspect of the reforms will be the disbanding of FIFA's executive committee, to be replaced by an expanded 36-seat FIFA council, with each of the six confederations required to reserve at least one of their places on the council for a woman.

Another key element is the introduction of term limits for FIFA presidents and council members. No individual will be allowed to serve for longer than 12 years - equivalent to three four-year terms. Salaries of council officials will also be disclosed.

Acting president Issa Hayatou repeatedly spoke of the importance of the reforms in the lead-up to the vote.
Football Association chairman Greg Dyke said on Thursday that the adoption of the reforms was more important than who was voted in as Blatter's successor.

Francois Carrard, the chairman of the 2016 reform committee, spoke of the importance of adopting the reforms in full before they were explained in detail by two members of the committee.

Following the vote, Hayatou said: "We stand united in our determination to put things right, so that the focus can return to football once again. The hard work of restoring trust and improving how we work begins now.

"This will create a system of stronger governance and greater diversity that will give football a strong foundation on which to thrive. It will help to restore trust in our organisation. And it will deter future wrongdoing."

FIFA's judicial bodies will in future be completely independent and the reforms promise stringent integrity checks. The number of committees will be reduced from 26 to nine in a bid to increase efficiency.

FIFA's 209 national associations will be expected to adopt the reforms in due course.

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