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SLFA President Isha Johansen & Stakeholders in the ‘New FIFA’

SLFA President Isha Johansen & Stakeholders in the ‘New FIFA’

Some 209 members of world football governing body FIFA will converge in Zurich on 26th February 2016 for their Extra-ordinary Congress not only to vote for a new president that will run the affairs of a federation which image has been severely bruised recently due to massive corruption involving its governance structure but, also vote for about nine reforms geared towards restoring back the battered image of FIFA.  (Photo: FIFA  Acting Dir. Communications and Public Affairs Div. Nicolas Maingot, poses with SWASAL’s Mohamed Konneh)

FIFA Acting Director of Communications and Public Affairs Division Nicolas Maingot, during his presentation at the AIPS 79th Global Congress which ended in Doha Qatar on Thursday 11th February 2016 said that, one of the nine proposed reforms that delegates would have to vote on is “greater recognition, participation and promotion of women in football (not promotion of women football) enshrined in the statutes.”

The reform states: “Greater recognition and promotion of women in football with a minimum of one female representative elected as a Council member per confederation; promotion of women as an explicit statutory objective of FIFA to create a more diverse decision-making environment and culture”.

Later, answering to questions from Sierra Leones’s representatives in the AIPS Congress-the Sports Writers Association of Sierra Leone (SWASAL) President Frank Cole and Financial Secretary Mohamed Konneh on the current dismal state of the country’s football headed by Isha Johansen who happens to be the only woman in the world to hold that position, he said that he did not know the full details of the gridlock but however stated: “Isha Johansen is one person that has been pushing hard to promote women football.”

Nicolas Maingot denied FIFA’s backing of Mrs. Johansen based on gender because according to him, “FIFA is looking at every federation in the world.”

Analysts meanwhile are of the view that since the SLFA President Isha Johansen is presently the only female FA President in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and the world at large, it is certain she will be elected member of the FIFA Council if this particular reform is accepted by majority of delegates.

It can be recalled quite recently Johansen was in Kigali Rwanda on the invitation of the CAF President Issa Hayatou, for an Executive Committee meeting.  It was also during that period CAF threw its support heavily behind the Asian Soccer Federation President the Bahraini Sheikh Salman, to replace the disgraced Sepp Blatter as FIFA President in the February 26th polls.

The Bahraini Sheikh Salman, staunchly supported Sepp Blatter during his over 16 years reign as FIFA President.

As far as the situation in Sierra Leone’s football is concern, analysts also posited that it is high time the problem is resolved since another reform that calls for a committee of stakeholders, if voted for, will give them strong representation in the ‘new FIFA.’

This particular proposed reform states: “New Football Stakeholder Committee to ensure greater transparency and inclusion through broader stakeholder representation (including players, clubs and leagues).”

Below are the nine proposed reforms:

  • Clear separation between “political” and management functions: The FIFA Council (replacing the FIFA Executive Committee) is responsible for setting the organization’s overall strategic direction, while the General Secretariat oversees the operational and commercial actions required to effectively execute that strategy.
  • Term limits for the FIFA President, FIFA Council members and members of the Audit and Compliance Committee and of the judicial bodies (max. 12 years).
  • Election of Council members supervised by FIFA and in accordance with FIFA’s own electoral regulations; all candidates subject to comprehensive eligibility and integrity checks conducted by an independent FIFA Review Committee.
  • Greater recognition and promotion of women in football with a minimum of one female representative elected as a Council member per confederation; promotion of women as an explicit statutory objective of FIFA to create a more diverse decision-making environment and culture.
  • Disclosure of individual compensation on an annual basis of the FIFA President, all FIFA Council members, the Secretary General and relevant chairpersons of independent standing and judicial committees.
  • Enhanced control of money flows.
  • Universal good governance principles for confederations and member associations.
  • FIFA’s commitment to human rights to be enshrined in the FIFA Statutes.
  • New Football Stakeholder Committee to ensure greater transparency and inclusion through broader stakeholder representation (including players, clubs and leagues).

By Frank Cole in Doha, Qatar

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