Speeches and a non-sponsor from NewFIFANow summit
Jaime Fuller speaking at Play the Game 2013. Photo: Thomas Søndergaard/Play the Game
29.01.2015By Stine Alvad
Play the Game has been allowed to publish two of the speeches held at a summit campaigning for an independent FIFA reform committee to oversee change in the international football federation. The summit, taking place in Brussels, was organised by NewFIFANow, a coalition of critics of the current leadership in FIFA.
One of the speeches now available is by former employee at the Australia 2018 bid, Bonita Mersiades, who was one of the whistleblowers identified in the summary of the Garcia report into the alleged corruption regarding the bids for the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cups. In her speech, Mersiades made it clear that she feels that the time for evolution is over and that time has come for a revolution.
Read the speech by Bonita Mersiades
The other speech available is that held by Harold Mayne-Nicholls, former chairman of the bid inspection team for the 2018/2022 World Cups. According to Mayne-Nicholls, the greatest challenge for FIFA now lies in restoring a reputation that has suffered greatly during the past years, something that will take a structural change in the governing body.
Read the speech by Harold Mayne-Nicholls
Following the NewFIFANow summit, one of the participants, Jaime Fuller, the director of sportswear manufacturer SKINS, has launched a campaign to follow up and support the ideas of reform in FIFA.
Leading up to the summit, Fuller had contacted the five main sponsors of FIFA and asked them to come to Brussels and take part in shaping a new FIFA. None of them turned up.
Fuller has now announced “the first ever 'official' non-sponsorship of football's governing body” where he declares his company as official non-sponsor. ‘Non-sponsorship guidelines’, non-merchandise and launch video can be found here.
Behind the ironic appearance of the campaign, lies a serious objective, which is to create awareness about the need for change in FIFA, to mobilise fans to engage in the NewFIFANow initiative and to urge sponsors into taking a stance.
“One of the aims of our Official Non-Sponsor campaign is for the ‘real’ sponsors of FIFA to appreciate the privileged position they occupy and understand that their money continues to enable those at FIFA and their actions. Our aim is not to have sponsors walk away but to have them pressure Sepp Blatter and FIFA until there is a reasonable level of governance in the organisation, to be run not unlike any other large corporate, quasi-government institution or NGO,” Fuller writes on his blog.
On 22 January, three of FIFA’s sponsors revealed that they were not continuing their sponsorships, but none of them based their decision on the crisis in the international football federation.