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Reform IOC head: FIFA should learn from Olympic example

Thomas Bach says the IOC could offer a model for reform at FIFA

(Keystone)

The president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, said on Monday he hoped FIFA, world football’s governing body, would be inspired by earlier reforms carried out at the Lausanne-based organisation.

Bach told a sports conference in Kitzbühel, Austria: “The IOC carried out reforms in many areas 15 years ago. If another sports organisation wants to do the same, we wouldn't mind and we'd even welcome it.”

The IOC was forced to carry out changes following a wide-reaching corruption scandal surrounding the designation of Salt Lake City in the United States as the 2002 Winter Olympics venue.

A former director-general of the IOC, 77-year-old François Carrard, was selected this summer to head FIFA’s reform task force. He helped lead the Olympic organisation amid corruption allegations over the 2002 attribution.

Critics have questioned how the task force now headed by Carrard, comprising FIFA-appointed officials, can remain independent.

Shared past connection

FIFA’s embattled president Sepp Blatter announced in August that after 16 years as an IOC committee member he had chosen not to seek re-election. At the time, Bach congratulated him for “his great contribution to the IOC and the Olympic movement”.

Before becoming CIO president, Bach was a lawyer for the German sports kit company Adidas, where he was introduced to the sports management world by the son of its founder, Horst Dassler. Dassler had helped Blatter in his initial recruitment by FIFA in the 1970s, while he worked at Longines.

Last weekend, FIFA sponsors Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Visa and Anheuser-Busch urged Blatter to step down, after Swiss authorities announced that he was under criminal investigation for alleged misappropriation of funds. Adidas has refused to call for Blatter’s immediate resignation.

Blatter has said he would step down in February at FIFA’s extraordinary congress to be held in Zurich.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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