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FIFA still resistant to change, says ex-official
September 14, 2017
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LONDON: FIFA is struggling to implement reforms and change its operating culture because its leaders are more worried about their own political futures, a former top official said on Wednesday.

The global soccer body has been trying to overhaul its operations in the wake of the worst crisis in its history, sparked in 2015 by the indictment in the United States of several dozen soccer officials on corruption-related charges.

Miguel Maduro, a former head of FIFA’s independent governance and review committee, also told a British parliamentary hearing that FIFA’s leadership tried to persuade him not to block Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko from being re-elected to its top committee.

“There is a culture in the institution ... that is extremely resistant to accountability, to independent scrutiny, to transparency, to prevention of conflicts of interest,” Maduro told the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee. He said FIFA president Gianni Infantino “realised that if he wanted to survive politically, he had to choose to protect the independence of bodies, and therefore to keep us in place, or answer to his constituency.”

Neither FIFA nor Infantino could immediately be reached for comment.

Maduro, a Portuguese lawyer and politician, was removed form his post in May, two months after ruling that Mutko could not stand for re-election for his place on the FIFA Council.Reuters

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