London: The way Fifa can regain credibility is to implement reforms such as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) did in the wake of the scandal surrounding the awarding of the 2002 Winter Olympics to Salt Lake City IOC president Thomas Bach told Sky News on Saturday.
The 61-year-old German, who has carried on the reform process begun by Juan Antonio Samaranch and taken further by his successor Jacques Rogge, added they must also address the allegations of corruption that has engulfed football’s global governing body and forced Sepp Blatter to announce he would step down as president earlier this week only days after he had been re-elected for a fifth term.
The IOC had been rocked back in 1998 with accusations of members taking bribes for votes and resulted in several of their number being thrown out—despite charges being brought against members of the Salt Lake City organising committee, none were ultimately found guilty.
“It’s absolutely important for Fifa to regain credibility for Fifa so I can only advise that they work hard at reforms and work hard on addressing these grave allegations," said Bach, who has been an IOC member since 1991.
“We had our difficulties 15 years ago and we did two things. We took swift action with regard to members, 10 members expelled or retired, and we undertook reforms.
“I am very proud that we elected athletes to the IOC, we have a system of accountability, strict rules on the election of host countries and we have even more reforms for transparency coming," added Bach, a fencing team foil gold medalist for the former West Germany in 1976.
Also speaking to Sky News Martin Glenn, the new chief executive of the Football Association (FA), said England would not be a contender to host either the 2018 or 2022 World Cups—they are presently subject of a Swiss investigation looking into whether the awarding of them to Russia and Qatar respectively involved corruption.
Culture secretary John Whittingdale had said earlier in the week that England—who lost out to Russia for the 2018 edition—was ready to step in and host either one if they were taken away form the hosts.
However, Glenn rubberstamped what his boss Greg Dyke had said on Friday about not hosting either tournament.
“We are really not interested," said 54-year-old Glenn, who in his previous life as a businessman was responsible for hiring former England striker Gary Lineker to promote a brand of crisps.
“It has gone to Russia in good faith, they have not had a World Cup, why shouldn’t they play there, and 2022 was never going to be in Europe so it should be outside of Europe.
“So we support the World Cup being dispersed around the world, as the name suggests." AFP