What progress or cynical ploys were attempted in the wake of negative attention and in the case of FIFA indictments since they were originally discussed on The Guardian Podcast with Ryn Melberg? The outcomes are surprising. For FIFA, the U.S. Attorney General is still aggressively pursuing the case.
According to Ryn, FIFA combines the world’s love of soccer with nationalism with a lot of countries leveraging their FIFA
membership to boost their status at home and internationally. She also states that FIFA was outpacing ENRON, Accenture and Taeko for the largest financial scandal in history. Earlier this year, U.S. federal prosecutors alleged that not one but two generations of soccer executives used partnerships with sports marketing companies to solicit $150 million in bribes and kick backs. These payoffs made in exchange for among other things, Blatter and company’s support for the sites of FIFA World Cup Events from the qualifiers to the 2010 World Cup.
Since the original podcast, there have been several developments. Sepp Blatter, the president and founder of FIFA, announced his resignation. This did little to boost confidence about future reforms for FIFA as Blatter, according to Ryn, will likely seek re-election in February. While FIFA has announced some reforms, there is still no global reform move. “The only significant deep and sweeping reforms are at the continental league level,” Melberg said. Candidates have until Oct. 26 to be nominated. The new president will be elected in a vote of FIFA’s 209 member associations, the same federations that re-elected Mr. Blatter less than two months ago.
New Leadership Needed
Another question over FIFA was who would replace the current leadership. The boards of the six confederations will need to elect a new board and new president. Governance authorities like Ryn state that while a new organization is not needed, current or past members should not be considered. “Different candidates will be enough,” Ryn said. “With another World Cup scheduled in a couple of years, starting with a new organization would be too disruptive for fans, athletes and sponsors.”
To hear The Guardian Podcast with Ryn Melberg, visit www.rynmelberg.com, iTunes or Soundcloud.