Blatter announces anti-corruption measures

ZURICH, (Reuters) – FIFA president Sepp Blatter  announced his long-awaited anti-corruption plan today  including a pledge to re-open the case into the collapse of  former marketing partner ISL.
Blatter, re-elected for a fourth term in June which he says  will be his last, also announced the creation of a new “good  governance committee”, featuring figures from outside FIFA, and  three task forces.
The committee would include representatives of clubs,  leagues, players, referees and women’s football, among others.
One task force would look into changes to the FIFA statutes,  a second would look at changes to the ethics committee and a  third would be responsible for introducing changes to make FIFA  more transparent.
These would be added to an existing task force aimed at  making the sport itself more attractive in time for the 2014  World Cup.
All proposals were passed by the executive committee on  Friday and Blatter said he wanted concrete results by the time  of the FIFA Congress in June 2013.
However Blatter said that he had abandoned his idea of  involving Henry Kissinger, the 88-year-old former U.S. Secretary  of State, to act as an independent watchdog in one of FIFA’s   new committees
“I have to apologise because I did mention some big names  at the Congress, but the former Secretary of State will not be  in this governance committee, because we want to have someone  who is active in politcs now — a member of parliament or a  minister, involved in the day-to-day work.”
At the time the FIFA president also mentioned opera singer  Placido Domingo as a possible member of the watchdog.
Blatter continued: “I think we have been rather ambitious in  our road map, its a Formula One model, but we need to move  forward.
“I feel very fulfilled, very happy that the executive  committee is completely in step with what we want to achieve  with the national associations.
“We are moving forward with a FIFA that, thanks to the good  governance committee, which is a bit of a watchdog and will  allow us in 2013, maybe even before, to present an image  slightly better than the one we have currently.
“We want a fair image, which shows the will of the FIFA  leadership to not dwell on the past, to face up to its problems  and find solutions. Tackling problems isn’t enough, we need to  find solutions.
“When FIFA is attacked, the president is attacked and I have  to defend the institution and myself, I hope this transparency  will help us put our past concerns behind us.”
Regarding the ISL case, he said: “This is an issue which has  been raised by the national associations and members of FIFA,  the executive committee of FIFA has decided that this case  should be opened.
“We will give this file therefore to an independent  organisation on the outside of FIFA so they can delve into this  file and present them to us, that is all I can tell you on this  famous ISL file,” he said.
FIFA added in a statement: “However, this can only be done  after a thorough legal analysis because of the complexity of the  matter. The case will be opened at the next meeting of the  executive committee in December 2011.
ISL went bankrupt in 2001. BBC’s Panorama programme said  last November that documents relating to a criminal  investigation into the ISL collapse are believed to show that  senior FIFA officials were paid kickbacks in return for granting  ISL lucrative World Cup television and sponsorship rights during  the 1990s.
Panorama named them as Ricardo Teixeira, Issa Hayatou and  Nicolas Leoz, all executive committee members. The three have  denied any wrongdoing.
Teixeira is president of the Brazilian Football  Confederation and the 2014 World Cup organising committee.

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