Pieth set to exit FIFA’s IGC

02 Oct 2013

FIFA’s Independent Governance Committee (IGC) is set to lose another senior official after its chairman, Mark Pieth, announced his intention to retire from the post at the end of the year.

Swiss anti-corruption expert Pieth was in November 2011 chosen to lead the IGC in its bid to oversee reform of FIFA in the wake of the high-profile corruption scandals endured by the organisation that year. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports Pieth’s exit will mean the reform process will now be taken over by fellow Swiss official Domenico Scala, who has chaired the new audit and compliance committee since last year. According to the German newspaper, Pieth said: “I have always seen myself with the IGC in a midwife role. There are now the necessary independent structures in place within FIFA to carry on the work. The future will be a matter of self-regulation. If FIFA does not want to take it forward then it does not have to. We cannot force them.”

Pieth’s exit comes after former IGC member Alexandra Wrage in April called on the Swiss government to intervene in the reform of FIFA, stating that the work of the IGC has “done little more than polish the veneer on an outdated men’s club”. Wrage, president of TRACE International – a non-profit membership association that provides anti-bribery compliance solutions for multinational companies and their commercial intermediaries – quit the IGC in protest over her belief that reform proposals had been watered down. May’s FIFA Congress saw a new set of statutes based on wide-ranging reforms designed to boost FIFA’s damaged image passed with majorities of well over 90%. The statutes included the rubber-stamping of the new Ethics Committee designed to root out any wrongdoing and the switch that will see Congress decide on the hosts of future World Cups, rather than the Executive Committee. However, the proposal to introduce age and mandate limits for senior officials was postponed to the 2014 Congress, while Pieth told delegates that FIFA president Sepp Blatter and senior executives should reveal their salaries.

Referring to the conflicts within FIFA, Pieth added: “I would not take on this sort of task again in such a circus where the various factions attack each other all the time.” Following his exit from the IGC, Pieth is now set to focus his efforts on his role as president of the Supreme Court of the African Development Bank.