European clubs attack FIFA reform plans | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 04.12.2015
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European clubs attack FIFA reform plans

An organization that represents professional European football clubs was not impressed by the reform proposals unveiled by FIFA. The European Club Association said it was keeping "all options open."

The European Club Association (ECA) used a statement posted on its website on Friday to strongly criticize the package of reformproposals unveiled by the chairman of FIFA's Reform Committee, Francois Carrard , 24 hours earlier.

The statement said that while "a number of recommendations are important and necessary steps which should lead to FIFA's institutional structure becoming more transparent and accountable," they failed to include "the involvement and greater recognition of all stakeholders."

The ECA appears to have been particularly annoyed by a proposal that FIFA has put on ice, to increase the number of teams taking part in the World Cup from 32 to 40, saying that this was "proof that the proposed reforms are not at the required standard allowing for a new and modern FIFA." It also complained that the proposal had come without the clubs having been consulted first.

'Increased frustration among stakeholders'

"ECA believes that rather than reduce the risk of tension within the football family, the proposed recommendations will only lead to increased frustration among stakeholders," it said.

The statement also noted that "more than 75% of the 2014 FIFA World Cup players were released by European clubs," and argued that "clubs have the legitimate right to play a decisive role in football governance and occupy a position reflective of their significant contribution to the game."

Although the statement didn't say what the ECA planned to do in response to the FIFA reform package, it did say that it was leaving "all options open."

"Clubs are not prepared to be further ignored," it concluded.

More FIFA suspensions

Also on Friday, FIFA's Ethics Committee announced that it had handed 90-day bans to Executive Committee members Juan Angel Napout and Alfredo Hawit. The two were arrested by Swiss police on Thursday acting on a US warrant. They are among 16 football officials charged by US prosecutors with involvement in multimillion-dollar bribery schemes for marketing and broadcast rights.

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