A new pressure group called ‘New Fifa Now’ launched today (Wednesday) at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium in a bid to reform football’s global governing body.
The coalition, which has the apparent support of a number of influential politicians and sports administrators, could add a twist to the run-up to the Fifa presidential election in May, when incumbent Sepp Blatter will seek a fifth term at the helm. Speakers at the launch event included David Triesman, the former chairman of the English Football Association, Fifa presidential candidate Jerome Champagne and potential candidate Harold Mayne-Nicholls of Chile, as well as a number of European Members of Parliament.
British MP Damian Collins has been the driving force behind the creation of the group, which has launched a charter for Fifa reform and a 10-point plan for change. “There has never before been an attempt to bring together an international coalition of people from different institutions and organisations, whether it’s football, business or parliaments, who have seen Fifa’s image go from bad to worse,” Collins told the Reuters news agency.
“We realised that the scale of the problem had become so great it needed a huge response which we are trying to start today. I think we have reached a tipping point and I hope we are giving confidence to more people around the world to join the call for Fifa to change.”
Bonita Mersiades, a former member of the Football Federation Australia governing body and part of Australia’s unsuccessful bid for the 2022 World Cup, said: “The time has passed for evolution. We need a revolution. People tore down the Berlin Wall and it is time for us to do the same and rebuild a new Fifa.”
Triesman added: “We have reached the absurd situation where the leaders of the world game go around as if they were the heads of state, which is not the way the sport should be governed. A deeply flawed set of people run Fifa and these people could not have survived if, for example, they had been running a private company or a corporation.”