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Sports News of Friday, 26 February 2016


Kofi Annan stands ready to help FIFA see through reforms

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Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan of Ghana says he is ready to help FIFA see through reforms by leading a body to oversee the change process.

Prince Ali of Jordan, one of five candidates standing to replace Sepp Blatter as FIFA president, said last week he invited Annan to lead an independent panel that would monitor the reform process.

Along with electing a new president, FIFA delegates will on Friday be asked to pass a package of measures designed to stamp out corruption within the organization.

A spokesman for Annan confirmed on Thursday the issue was discussed with Prince Ali.

Bijan Farnoudi told The Associated Press that "Mr. Annan did agree that in that event, should there be a desire to establish such an external oversight committee, that Mr. Annan would be available to chair that."

Soccer's world ruling body is engulfed in a graft scandal that has led to the indictment of several dozen leading soccer officials in the United States and is under enormous pressure to reform.

Last year, campaign group New FIFA Now also called for Annan to be put in charge of an independent reform commission.

The group would focus on governance issues "with the goal of stabilizing an organization in crisis."

In the longer term, it would turn its attention to FIFA's development policies, and advise on aspects of the sport such as the expansion of the World Cup and combating match-fixing.

"The FIFA Oversight Group an essential element to revive FIFA’s reputation and restore it to what it should be – a service organization for football," said Prince Ali.

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