FIFA is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation with revenues that exceed US$5bn. It has unprecedented reach, political clout and enormous worldwide social influence. Its power is such that it can demand that World Cup host countries change their laws. Such is the global impact that countries will spend billions on hosting the World Cup. If FIFA were a multi-national corporation it would be accountable to its shareholders. FIFA and its executive committee have no accountability to anyone except themselves. It is exempt from the kind of legal oversight, disclosure and compliance rules that would be standard for businesses of this magnitude. FIFA’s objectives are to improve the game “in the light of its unifying, educational, cultural and humanitarian values” and “to promote integrity.” In this it is failing. It has forgotten that it is the custodian of the sport, not the owner. It is time to listen to the millions who play the game and the billions of supporters. FIFA is a flawed democracy that needs to be fixed urgently. Transparency International is calling on FIFA’s leaders to present a serious reform programme to their delegates and that those delegates should back change and elect a president that embraces integrity. The reform programme should be based on the principles of transparency and accountability. Transparency International believes the process should be monitored by an independent reform commission that has the power to introduce further reforms. FIFA’s executive committee must first propose new governing statutes to embrace real reform and show it is serious about fighting corruption. The delegates must demonstrate their commitment to fight corruption by backing these changes.

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