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FIFA to undergo major restructuring in order to curb corruption

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Zurich: In a bid to end the ongoing culture of corruption for years now, FIFA approved the implementation of major reforms at a congress on Friday.

Political interference and conflicts of interest in executive decision making are the two factors responsible for leading FIFA into crisis.

The reforms are seen as an effort by this world football federation and include measures adopted by 179 members while 22 voted against and six abstained at the congress in Zurich.

One of the most significant measures includes changes in the role of FIFA’s president and its executive committee with the president’s job altered to function like a corporate chairman of the board, providing strategic guidance but with less management authority.

We take a look at other reforms which are to be implemented:

  • A replacement for FIFA’s disgraced president Sepp Blatter will also be reflected.
  • A committee headed by Swiss lawyer Francois Carrard developed the reforms. Carrard was earlier handed down with a similar cleanup effort at the International Olympic Committee more than a decade ago.
  • Operating similar to a corporate board of directions, FIFA’s executive committee has been re-branded as a FIFA council. Also, FIFA’s secretary general who previously came second to the president will serve as world football’s CEO.
  • Presidential terms along with those of council members will be limited to three consecutive four-year terms only.
  • Keeping in mind the improvement of financial transparency at the multi-billion dollar organisation, several measures were also approved.
  • Revenues and compensation for senior officials will be published while auditing will be more independent and more robust.
  • Considered as bloated and wasteful, the number of commissions has been cut from 26 to 9.
  • The role of women in global football governance to be expanded with at least one woman required on the council of each national federation.

Arguing the period of crisis to be a wrong time to push through a major restructuring, a Palestinian representative desired the congress to lobby against approving the reforms.

These measures were designed to regulate FIFA’s top brass authority which faced patronage and waste during Blatter’s 18-year term as president. Broadly, the reforms aim to promote “culture change” at FIFA, with more ethical and accountable leadership. (Inputs from Agencies)

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FIFA U-17 World Cup Director Javier Ceppi calls India a ‘Footballing Nation’

India recorded the highest attendance in a U-17 World Cup with 1,347,131 spectators.

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FIFA U-17 World Cup
Football match in progress. Wikimedia

New Delhi, October 29, 2017 : FIFA U-17 World Cup tournament director Javier Ceppi on Sunday heaped praise on India for hosting the meet and called it a “footballing nation”.

India recorded the highest attendance in a U-17 World Cup with 1,347,131 spectators. The earlier record was held by China in 1985 where 1,230,976 spectators witnessed football’s marquee tournament.

“Three years of hard work by all in LOC (Local Organising Committee) and we can finally say: job was done! India, you are a footballing nation, 1,347,131 fans say so,” Ceppi tweeted. India hosted 23 nations in the just concluded U-17 World Cup. (IANS)

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Ex-Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif Indicted on Corruption Charges

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Muhammad Safdar
Muhammad Safdar, husband of Maryam Nawaz, daughter of ousted Pakistani premier Nawaz Sharif, waves from a a vehicle as he arrives at an accountability court in Islamabad. VOA

Islamabad, October 19: Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been indicted on corruption charges stemming from information taken from the so-called “Panama Papers.”

The country’s anti-corruption court indicted the 67-year-old Sharif during a hearing Thursday in Islamabad. His daughter Maryam and son-in-law Mohammed Safdar were also indicted. Maryam Sharif and Mohammed Safdar appeared in court and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

A lawyer for the elder Sharif, who is in London with his wife as she undergoes cancer treatment, entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. Maryam Sharif angrily dismissed the allegations as “baseless.”

Sharif was disqualified by Pakistan’s Supreme Court and removed from office in July after leaked documents last year from a Panama-based law firm revealed the family held a number of unreported overseas assets.(VOA)

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Journalist Behind the Panama Papers Killed in a Car Bomb

Caruana Galizia was recently described by the American news outlet Politico as a "one-woman WikiLeaks".

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Panama papers
Daphne Caruana Galizia died on Monday when her car, a Peugeot 108, was destroyed by a powerful explosive device. (Representative image) Pixabay

Valletta, October 17, 2017 : A journalist who led the Panama Papers probe into corruption in Malta was killed on Monday in a car bomb near her residence, the media reported.

Daphne Caruana Galizia died on Monday when her car, a Peugeot 108, was destroyed by a powerful explosive device, reports the Guardian.

A blogger whose posts often attracted more readers than the combined circulation of the country’s newspapers, Caruana Galizia was recently described by the American news outlet Politico as a “one-woman WikiLeaks”.

Her latest revelations accused Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and two of his closest aides, connecting offshore companies linked to the three men with the sale of Maltese passports and payments from the government of Azerbaijan.

No group or individual claimed responsibility for the attack, the Guardian reported.

Malta’s President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, called for calm. “In these moments, when the country is shocked by such a vicious attack, I call on everyone to measure their words, to not pass judgement and to show solidarity.”

ALSO READ Not Just Journalist Ram Chandra Chhatrapati, these 9 People too Bore the Brunt of Speaking Truth to Fight Corruption

In a statement, Muscat condemned the “barbaric attack”.

“Everyone knows Caruana Galizia was a harsh critic of mine,” said Muscat, adding “Both politically and personally, but nobody can justify this barbaric act in any way.”

He announced in parliament later on Monday that Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officers were on their way to Malta to assist with the investigation, following his request for help from the US government.

According to local media reports, Caruana Galizia filed a police report 15 days ago to say that she had been receiving death threats.

The journalist posted her final blog on her Running Commentary website at 2.35 p.m. on Monday, and the explosion, which occurred near her home, was reported to police just after 3 p.m.

Over the last two years, her reporting had largely focused on revelations from the Panama Papers, a cache of 11.5 million documents leaked from the internal database of the world’s fourth largest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca. (IANS)