The train rolls on.
Today, in accordance with Fifa’s Code of Ethics, Joseph S. Blatter was relieved of all his duties as Fifa President following the decision of the Independent Chairman of the Adjudicatory Chamber of the Ethics Committee to provisionally ban him from all football activities on a national and international level.
Joseph S. Blatter, for the duration of the 90-day ban, is not allowed to represent Fifa in any capacity, act on the organisation’s behalf, or communicate to media or other stakeholders as a Fifa representative.
As mandated by article 32 (6) of the Fifa Statutes, Issa Hayatou, as the longest-serving vice-president on Fifa’s Executive Committee, will serve as Acting President of Fifa.
It was also announced that the Independent Chairman of the Adjudicatory Chamber of the Ethics Committee issued a provisional 90-day ban for Fifa’s Secretary General, Jérôme Valcke.
Blatter, of course, maintains he has done nothing wrong and continues to live in a world of delusion where a paid adviser has said that Blatter is the only person capable of running FIFA.
But reform does not end with Blatter, his sidekick Jerome Valcke, and UEFA President, Michel Platini, a favored candidate to succeed Blatter in next year’s planned election, being sent to the naughty corner.
The history of the men (and it is always men) stepping into replace Blatter and Platini show just how deep governance issues extend at FIFA.
Issa Hayatou of Cameroon, now acting FIFA President, was sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee in 2011 and has been the subject of bribery allegations by a Qatar-bid whistleblower.
He has denied the allegations related to Qatar.
Angel Maria Villar Llona of Spain, who is in line to replace Platini for the period of his suspension, did not cooperate with FIFA’s own 21-month Ethics Committee investigation into the 2018/2022 World Cup bidding process, conducted by Michael Garcia.
As lobby group New FIFA Now explained in a press release after Blatter and Platini’s suspensions were announced: “Hayatou and Villar Llona would be disqualified from holding these positions – even temporarily – under governance arrangements to which most organisations are held accountable. The only way that the international community can have any trust in FIFA in the future is to end the crisis of corruption and management, and for the organisation to be transformed.”
Someone at FIFA has finally found a broom. But they also need to look at the back of the closet for a mop and a big bucket.