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FIFA adviser gives only fair marks to reform process

  • AP, Monday, April 2, 2012 3:21 PM

The first phase of FIFA's pledge to clean up the corruption in its ranks is judged to be acceptable by an adviser assisting in the process. “Progress is as good as we could have hoped, which is not the same as perfect or ideal,” said Alexandra Wrage, president of anti-bribery consultant TRACE.

Wrage credited a 13-member panel led by Swiss law professor Mark Pieth that worked at “lightning speed” to present FIFA with a first phase of reform proposals. However, FIFA’s executive committee did not fulfill many requests, and shifted most decisions to 2013.

“I know there is a lot of cynicism, and I share some of that,” Wrage said regarding whether FIFA has a genuine desire to change after bribery and vote-rigging scandals.  Blatter’s colleagues did not grant the Pieth panel’s “fundamental” request to guarantee executive committee seats for the elected ethics and compliance officials. They also did not create a separate nominations committee tasked with proposing and vetting candidates for future FIFA positions.

“I’m disappointed by that. That is one of the things I felt was very important,” said Wrage, a Canadian lawyer and global authority on anti-bribery compliance.

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