Interim leadership calls for FIFA reform support in open letter

Zurich, Dec. 18, (GNA/dpa) – The acting FIFA leadership of president Issa Hayatou and general secretary Markus Kattner, in an open letter published Friday, asked for faith in the battered ruling football body and support for a wide-range reform package to overcome the crisis.

Hayatou and Kattner called on all 209 FIFA members “to fully support, implement and abide by the new reforms. The future of FIFA and the global development of football depend on our full commitment to embracing a change in culture from top to bottom.”

Battered by criminal investigations by United States and Swiss authorities, arrests of officials and the suspension of President Joseph Blatter and others, the FIFA executive passed a reform package which is to be approved by an extraordinary congress on February 26 when a new president will be elected as well.

Reforms include term limits for the president and other top officials, more transparency, and a new structure, with less power for the president and a no longer decision-making council replacing the executive committee.

“We maintain that the majority of those working in football governance do so in the right way and for the right reasons, but it has become clear that root-and-branch reform is the only way to deter future wrongdoing and to restore faith in FIFA,” the letter said.

“We will need to work hard together over the coming years to win back the trust and respect of fans, players, commercial affiliates and all the many millions of participants who make football the world’s most popular sport.

“There may be further challenges ahead, and it will take time for these reforms to take effect, but our resolve to rebuild FIFA for the better remains steadfast. Our aim is to establish a secure, professional and fully accountable sports organisation by the time of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.”