A breaking news shocks the football’s world governing body, whcih is related to UEFA and FIFA president Sepp Blatter, claimed by a modified report, causing a stir actually. This news even makes football reforms was watered down in a sense!
Blatter faces strong opposition from European federations.
UEFA spokesman Pedro Pinto said allegations in German media showed that FIFA’s Independent Governance Committee “was anything but independent.”
Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein, one of three candidates standing against Blatter for the FIFA leadership, said: “There does appear to be evidence of interference in the drafting of the so-called independent Pieth report by FIFA.”
German magazine Der Spiegel reported that criticism of Blatter by independent governance committee chairman Mark Pieth was removed from his final report by FIFA’s chief lawyer Marco Villiger.
Blatter set up the committee in 2011 after a series of scandals.
Der Spiegel said passages which questioned Blatter’s leadership were removed from Pieth’s draft.
View galleryFrom left: the chairman of the Royal Dutch Football …
From left: the chairman of the Royal Dutch Football Association Michael van Praag, former Portuguese …
Text which linked Blatter to the ISL scandal, in which ex-president Joao Havelange and other senior FIFA figures were accused of taking bribes from the federation’s former marketing partner, were also removed the report said.
Pieth said he was aware of the changes to his 15-page draft report, which Villiger returned with 37 notes, as well as amendments and deletions.
“That is a normal process, FIFA has a principal right to hear what we publish about them,” Pieth told Der Spiegel.
Pinto, spokesman for UEFA president Michel Platini, said on Twitter: “The latest revelations regarding the Pieth report show that FIFA’s Independent Governance Committee was anything but independent.
“UEFA has always wondered why it was criticised by Mr Pieth and wrongly accused of blocking FIFA reforms.
“Now we understand why and where it all came from.”
Prince Ali, a FIFA vice president, linked the case to his demands for the publication of a report by US lawyer into the voting process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups which went to Russia and Qatar.
He said in a statement that the media reports “are a reminder of why we need Michael Garcia’s report into FIFA’s World Cup bidding process to be published in full.”
“There does appear to be evidence of interference in the drafting of the so-called independent Pieth report by FIFA. This is deeply worrying and suggests something is not right at the heart of FIFA governance.
“Without publishing the Garcia report in full, FIFA faces the ongoing public suspicion that interference may also have occurred in that case.”
Having been elected FIFA president in 1998, the 78-year-old Blatter is bidding for a fifth term in an election to be held on May 29 at a FIFA Congress.
Blatter is standing against Prince Ali, former Portuguese star Luis Figo and Dutch FA president Michael van Praag.
FIFA said that its Ad-hoc Electoral Committee had “formally admitted and declared the candidates eligible” for the vote.
All four “underwent an integrity check” by the investigatory chamber of FIFA’s Ethics Committee, said the statement.