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FIFA turns to Olympic reformer

By Agence France Presse In Paris | China Daily | Updated: 2015-08-13 08:17

FIFA on Tuesday appointed Swiss lawyer Francois Carrard, who helped restore the Olympic movement's credibility after the Salt Lake City scandal, to lead the reform committee of world soccer's governing body.

Carrard, 77, previously guided the International Olympic Committee through its own governance reforms in the wake of the bribery scandal-hit 2002 Winter Olympics.

FIFA is reeling from its own corruption turmoil after seven soccer officials were arrested in a raid on a Zurich hotel on the eve of a FIFA congress in May.

"It is vital for the future of global football to restore the integrity and reputation of its governing body," said Carrard.

"It's a very significant crisis, on a par with what I came across at the IOC between 1998 to 2000.

"Once again we have accusations of corruption, structural reforms to put in place, interference from the political world and sponsors.

"There are similarities (with the Olympics), even if the situations are different and that the world has changed in the past 15 years."

He said he accepted FIFA's call to help because he considered it "important to find reforms which are acceptable to all to restore FIFA's credibility".

Carrard was appointed following consultation with the six soccer confederations and he will be assisted by representatives from two of each.

"As the independent chairman, I am committed to delivering the necessary package of credible reforms, working with representatives from within football and wider society.

"To that end, I will establish an independent advisory board, made up of representatives from outside football, to support the work of the committee and provide an additional layer of independent expertise."

The reform committee will provide a preliminary update to the FIFA executive committee at its regular quarterly meeting on Sept 24-25, FIFA said in a statement.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who is due to stand down in February when a new election will be held, said Carrard was the "right man" with a "proven track record".


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