FIFA: NOT ONE CANDIDATE PLEDGES ADEQUATE STEPS TO PREVENT HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSE AND CORRUPTION
“Let’s be clear. There is no time to waste in taking action to prevent human rights abuses linked to the World Cups in Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022” – Sylvia Schenk, Transparency International Germany
FIFA still has to prove it is serious about dealing with human rights abuses and corruption linked to the World Cup. Not one of the organisation’s presidential candidates has either signed up to the full range of pledges presented to them by a group of leading NGOs ahead of the election next week (26 February), or articulated alternative measures that would effectively address the underlying issues.
NGOs including Terre des Hommes, Human Rights Watch, Football Supporters Europe and Transparency International Germany asked the five candidates to commit to taking six clear steps in their first 100 days as president to put FIFA on the road to ensuring the World Cup and other tournaments do not cause or contribute to human rights abuses and corruption.
While none of the candidates signed up to the full range of pledges, four replied – Jerome Champagne, Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein, Gianni Infantino and Sheikh Salman Al-Khalifa -and expressed their commitment to dealing with some of the issues raised by the NGOs. They acknowledged that transparency and accountability need to improve at all levels, but none accepted the need for an independent advisory panel to oversee measures to tackle this. However, Prince Ali has since announced plans for former UN General Secretary Kofi Annan to lead an independent oversight group.
“We come with specific demands for reforms. The devil is in the detail and the general announcements will not be sufficient. As a child rights organization, we are committed in bringing the specific child rights perspective in changing the game of FIFA” said Ignacio Packer, Terre des Hommes Secretary General.
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