East Midlands MEP calls for change at FIFA

East Midlands MEP Emma McClarkin with FIFA Presidential candidate Jerome Champagne
East Midlands MEP Emma McClarkin with FIFA Presidential candidate Jerome Champagne

East Midlands MEP Emma McClarkin has co-hosted an event in Brussels to push for the reform of world football governing body FIFA.

The event brought together politicians and football and business people from around the world with a shared concern about the crisis at the organisation following corruption allegations surrounding the World Cup bidding process.

Speakers included Jerome Champagne, FIFA Presidential candidate, as well as former FIFA technical inspector Harold Mayne-Nicholls, who headed the team which assessed candidates for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids.

The event called on the candidates for the FIFA Presidency to agree to the establishment of a FIFA Reform Commission to be overseen by an independent international authority such as UNESCO. This includes pledging to:

resolve and publish all current and outstanding corruption inquires;

review FIFA’s constitution, statutes, codes of practice, and operational policies and practices;

develop new governance arrangements including governance-related committees;

oversee an independent audit of FIFA’s football development programmes around the world; and conduct fresh elections for an executive committee including a new President.

Miss McClarkin said: “I am delighted that so many people attended the event, and that the movement we have created has gained real traction in the media. We want to continue this momentum so that we can force serious and long-lasting changes to the way FIFA is run, which would have long-term benefits for the game.”

“It is clear to all that corruption is endemic within FIFA. We are calling for real change in FIFA, with real reform, transparency and accountability. Strong governance and democracy should be at the heart of FIFA as the governing body of the best-loved sport in the world.

“The reform needs to start from the top down. It’s time to give football back to the people.”

The meeting was hosted by Miss McClarkin with Damian Collins MP, and Belgian MEP Ivo Belet,