Fifa adviser resigns in dispute over 'neutered' reform proposals

Fifa

One of Fifa's leading advisers has resigned in protest over her belief that key proposals to reform the organisation have been watered down.

Alexandra Wrage, an authority on corporate anti-corruption, quit the Independent Governance Committee (IGC) last week, BBC Sport has learned.

World football's governing body set up the IGC to help it become more transparent following several scandals.

In a recent interview, Wrage said the proposed reforms had been "neutered".

Fifa launched its reform process almost two years ago amid fierce criticism after Mohamed bin Hammam, an election rival to president Sepp Blatter, was accused of bribery. Bin Hammam was later banned for life by Fifa, but he continues to deny any wrongdoing.

Several executive committee members also faced allegations of corruption in the bid process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Fifa later admitted that candidate countries Spain and Qatar colluded over votes for the two tournaments.

Wrage, a Canadian member of the IGC, said she was "frustrated and surprised" that Fifa had failed to back several measures she regarded as "really bland, straightforward governance provisions" after a meeting of its leading executive committee in March.

The IGC proposals included measures to:

  • toughen up the process for deciding how future World Cups are awarded
  • ensure independent oversight of Fifa's powerful executive committee
  • disclose how much president Sepp Blatter and other leading executives are paid
  • ensure integrity checks for future executives are carried out independently

It is understood she resigned from the IGC following a meeting in Zurich last week.

"Key provisions that are accepted in the corporate world have not been accepted here - our recommendations just seem to fall off the agenda," she said last month.

In a separate development, BBC Sport understands that a long-awaited report into the bribery scandal surrounding Fifa's former marketing agency, International Sport and Leisure (ISL), will be released later this week by Fifa.

A file prepared by Fifa ethics investigator Michael Garcia was passed to Hans-Joachim Eckert, the governing body's ethics judge, several weeks ago.

That 4,000-page document, which contains recommendations for next steps to be taken by Eckert, will be made public towards the end of this week.

A Swiss prosecutor said in a legal document released last year that former Fifa president Joao Havelange and Ricardo Teixeira, a former member of the organisation's executive committee, took multimillion-dollar bribes on World Cup deals from ISL.

ISL ceased as a business in 2001 when it was declared bankrupt.

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