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Transparency International: FIFA members too secretive

A new report issued by Transparency International has found that most FIFA members make public very little information about their financial dealings. This comes as FIFA itself is engulfed in a major corruption scandal.

The vast majority of football associations that are members of FIFA, world football's governing body, are secretive about their financial dealings, potentially raising the risk of corruption, anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI) said in a report released on Thursday.

The report comes as FIFA struggles to put its house in order following criminal investigations against its officials in the United States and Switzerland. The world governing body on Wednesday rejected appeals by its president, Sepp Blatter, and UEFA President Michel Platini, to get their provisional 90-day bans over corruption allegations lifted.

The watchdog said more than four in five football associations have no financial records publicly available, and a similar number of associations do not publish accounts of their finances. In fact, 21 percent of the associations do not even have a website.

According to the report only 14 out of FIFA's 209 football associations, including England, Denmark, Italy, Latvia, Northern Ireland and Sweden - publish the minimum amount of information that TI deems necessary to keep the public reasonably informed about their activities, values and financial dealings.

"The risk of corruption at too many football associations around the world is high. This problem is made worse by the lack of information such as audited financial statements by many associations," said TI managing director Cobus de Swardt in a statement published on the organization's website.

Schweiz Cobus de Swardt Transparency International in Davos

TI managing director Cobus de Swardt.

Corbus said FIFA needed to enforce better governance on its members as well as on itself.

Only two of FIFA's six continental confederations - European body UEFA and Africa's CAF - reveal their annual accounts, the report said.

The watchdog called on FIFA to ask its members to make public their financial accounts and activities report as some of the prerequisites for membership.

"Any incoming president of FIFA must make it a priority to create more accountable governance throughout the organizations from the bottom, as well as from the top," de Swardt said.

TI said the report was based on research conducted by searching football association websites for information on financial accounts, governing statutes, codes of conduct and annual activity reports.

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