Lausanne - Football's top body is "semi-dictatorial" and needs a
makeover, says Swiss governance expert Mark Pieth, who had been hired by outgoing
FIFA chief Sepp Blatter to suggest improvements.
The Basel-based expert, who headed an independent governance committee to
advise FIFA how to buttress its tarnished reputation in the wake of a slew of
scandals, said the organisation needed fundamental structural reforms.
"FIFA already had a semi-dictatorial structure under (Blatter's
predecessor) Joao Havelange and even more so under Blatter," he said.
He said the body's governing system was "ultra-presidential with not
The governance committee wound up its work at the end of 2013 but its
recommendations were not implemented.
FIFA's image is in shreds now with around 14 current or former officials and
sports marketing executives accused by US prosecutors of taking part in a
sweeping kickbacks scheme going back 20 years involving a total of $150 million
The scandal, which also involves a Swiss probe into the awarding of the 2018
and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar, has led to the resignation of long
serving FIFA boss Blatter, just four days after his reelection for a fifth
Pieth said it was necessary to "limit the powers of the president and
also the executive committee" and review the "principle of one
country, one vote."
He also stressed the need for investigations led by FIFA - and not at the
confederation level - on future candidates seeking a place on the executive
committee, to avoid similar scandals in the future.
Such kind of ethics probes "are not foolproof ... but can lead one to
anticipate problems," he said.