New in the knowledge bank: The need for reform in FIFA


By Play the Game
FIFA has become an international commercial behemoth, but it has been at the expense of the reputation of world football and without regard for the forgotten stakeholders of the game – the players and fans – argues the former head of corporate and public affairs in Football Federation Australia in an article based on her presentation to the Chartered Secretaries Australia Conference in December 2011.

In principle, the outcome of the reform process in FIFA should be simple, Bonita Mersiades concludes in a new contribution to Play the Game’s knowledge bank.

“We want an international governing body that has the same level of transparency and accountability that we expect of our governments, major institutions and organisations. We want an organisation that is responsible to the many millions of people who play the game, the billions who are fans and one that meets standards befitting of its $1.3 billion turnover,” Mersiades writes.

The article is based on a recent presentation to the Chartered Secretaries Australia Conference in Sydney and gives a good overview of the corruption allegations engulfing FIFA. The former head of corporate and public affairs in Football Federation Australia also describes how the crisis is seen from an Australian point of view, discussing the Australian football federation’s position.

According to Mersiades, FIFA has grown to become an international commercial giant at the expense of world football’s reputation – and she does not have much confidence in FIFA’s willingness and capacity to change. But FIFA needs a ‘clean slate’, she argues, which calls for a reform process involving all stakeholders including players and fans.

“Players and fans have a right and responsibility to shape the local as well as international football environment.  We have the right and responsibility to champion reform – rather than passively accepting FIFA’s flawed governance.  And we have the right and responsibility to be part of the main game.

Read the full article here.

Bonita Mersiades is an Australian strategy and communications consultant and writer. She has been team manager for the Australian national men’s team, the ‘Socceroos’ and head of corporate and public affairs in Football Federation Australia (FFA) until her departure early 2010. Read more here.


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