Skip to main content

Question Marks Over New FIFA Reforms
We just received an update from FIFA on how the football body proposes to regain credibility after what it says were "the difficult challenges of the past year."

As the linked video above shows, the body aims to delineate its reforms into four areas: Governance, Transparency, Accountability and Diversity. It also seeks to overhaul the structure at the heart of the organisation.

Part of this is the use of "fully independent" processes in areas like remuneration and eligibility for the new 36-member Council.

On first glance, it's a PR response to a cultural problem.

They are using all the right terms and buzzwords, but how these noble goals will be actualised seems to remain a grey area.

For us, two areas stand out.

Firstly, there is an avowed commitment to honour human rights in all areas, including programs and funding, sponsorship and commercial deals.

This appears promising. But this is unlikely to go beyond national laws in various jurisdictions and so, will not likely apply to a universal set of human rights principles. If there is such a reference point, it hasn't been made clear.

Second, there is the new-fangled FIFA Council, which is supposed to replace the dysfunctional 24-member (plus the President) Executive Committee. It's 36 members (plus President) will be elected by FIFA's Member Associations.

This area of FIFA's structure has been a highly problematic space for FIFA. Member associations are generally not independent of their national leaderships and elites, especially in lesser developed countries or in countries where there is no democratic political culture. Thus rather than reflecting grassroots concerns, the Member Associations too-often tend to reflect the wishes of political networks and agendas.

The new council, in drawing from the same gene pool looks likely to return the same crop of dysfunctional leaders in some if not many cases.

A new stakeholder committee is to be introduced and this may be designed to head off the over-politicisation of the world game. But, again, details on this are thin.

So, in summary, the new reforms are theoretically interesting but functionally still very, very underdone.


Popular posts from this blog

In these times, find the joy of being human

The election of Donald J Trump as America's 45th President, confirmed in this week's inauguration, presents numerous challenges to human rights and people power.

The boorish, misogynistic, arrogant tenor of his campaign has cast a pall over the rights of minorities in America and across the globe as his "America First" call, by definition, puts everyone else second or worse. The only equality in the scenario he presents is of the George Orwell type: that of some being more equal than others.

Such a situation already exists of course. Western males wield more direct and indirect power in global terms than, say, a dark-skinned girl in a slum. Trump is hardly breaking new ground. But, his ascendancy gives that dark reality more momentum. It puts it closer to the centre of normal. His message threatens to break the positive values that link human beings to each other.

Globally, governments, civil society and civilians need to make a stand.

We need to step up to demand f…

Rohingya Football Club Program Details

The Kick Project board has now reached agreement with the Rohingya Football Club, Kuala Lumpur, to proceed with the following program. 

We are now formally raising funds for the following program, which we aim to begin in January 2016.

Phase One:

Part 1
Aim 1: Provide full playing kit for the current Rohingya Football Club (RFC) squad. This includes: shirts, shorts, socks, shin-pads, boots, goalkeeper equipment
Aim 2: Fund a single playing space for football games. This includes paying fees on a designated municipal football field.
Aim 3: Fund Transport. This includes purchasing or leasing a minivan.
Part 2
Aim 1: To establish a “Ball Library”. This will be set up as a focal point for the RFC and also for the Rohingya community, with special focus on encouraging access for Rohingya children. Appropriate education initiatives (approved by both RFC representatives and The Kick Project via the Program Management Committee) may be conducted and/or promoted in the Ball Library premises;
Aim 2: T…

Playing for Positives: How Pro Sport and Good Causes Can Work Together

Interesting read from The New Yorker on the authority and power invested in professional athletes, in relation to influencing the progress of social justice.

The focus here is on American sports, but the theme can be easily extended to other sports, worldwide.

It's perhaps no surprise perhaps that the rise of pro sports as a massive industry in its own right, with the parallel gains for individuals in money and celebrity terms, that more athletes don't speak out about important issues. There's clearly a lot at stake, and a lot to lose for those who step off the tightly managed corporate line running through most large sports organisations and clubs.

But, the fact that a large percentage of today's professional athletes come from simple backgrounds, if not from situations of outright poverty and/or abuse, begs the question of why don't more speak up about the circumstances that they escaped from and in which some of their peers in youth remain ensconced?

The Kick P…