Defence Of The Independence Of Football Associations
The FIFA Associations Committee met at the Home of FIFA in Zurich under the chairmanship of FIFA Vice-President Geoff Thompson (England) on 5 February and examined a number of cases before underlining the importance of taking a strong stance in defending the independence of FIFA’s member associations from any external interference to ensure the adequate administration of football within the associations.
A total of 14 cases were discussed, out of which four were closed, five related to governmental interference, four to internal problems within member associations and one was a specific matter.
Albania – political interference. The ministry of sport has continuously threatened the independence of the association and strong allegations against the association’s president have been made by the minister of sport. Proof of the allegations was requested by FIFA, but no reply received. The association’s statutes have not been registered due to opposition from the ministry. The ministry has been given an ultimatum to stop its interference and allow the registration of the statutes by 21 February, otherwise the association could be suspended.
American Samoa – the situation has in general been improving, with the new Football Federation of American Samoa (FFAS) and a new board elected. FIFA supports this new structure and will continue to closely monitor the situation.
Burkina Faso – satisfactory elections, monitored by FIFA and CAF, were held on 12 January 2008. The new president and board were elected in a democratic manner. The case has been closed.
Central African Republic – a new transitory committee has been established by FIFA to support new elections in the coming months. A coordination meeting will be held in Zurich on 20 February to determine the next steps.
Cyprus – meetings have taken place between the Cyprus FA and Turkish Cypriot FA and both sides have been demonstrating goodwill to find “football” solutions within the framework of the FIFA and UEFA statutes to the challenges they face.
Dominica – internal conflict between opposing sides within the football association. FIFA and CONCACAF have sent three fact-finding missions. The situation is untenable and FIFA will continue to examine possible solutions, with more information to be provided on the next steps in the near future.
Indonesia – the committee has established a timeline for the association to produce new statutes within the next three months and to hold elections in accordance with the statutes within three months of the statutes being approved.
Iran – elections were held on 9 January 2008 and observed by FIFA and the AFC. The new president and board were elected in a transparent and democratic manner. Therefore, the case has been closed. Kuwait – following the suspension of the Kuwait FA, the association has complied fully with the directives of FIFA and the AFC. The suspension has therefore been conditionally lifted. The situation has improved and the roadmap is well under way. FIFA will continue to monitor the situation closely. Palestine – the association’s statutes should be ratified in March and elections organised by the beginning of May under the supervision of FIFA and the AFC. Peru – the situation has improved and the interference from the sports ministry has ceased. The case has therefore been closed.
Togo – FIFA is in contact with the government and a roadmap has been agreed upon to re-establish the FTF. Turkey – currently the only one of FIFA’s 208 member associations without independent statutes due to national law. Independent statutes will be drafted and presented by May and the government has agreed to accept them.
US Virgin Islands – elections were held on 1 December 2007 under the observation of FIFA and CONCACAF. It has been agreed that improvements in administration are required. The case has been closed.