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Sepp Blatter Must Go if FIFA is to Change

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SEPP BLATTER
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FIFA President Sepp Blatter's recent comments that there is no racism in football, and that any evidence to the contrary can be settled and forgotten with a simple handshake, provide further examples of how out to touch he is.

He is no longer able to lead football's world governing body, and it would be better for him and the game if he would stand aside.

Great strides forward have been taken in dealing with racism in football, both in the stands and on the pitch. In the United Kingdom I would particularly commend the work of Kick it Out, but there is still much to be done, and Sepp Blatter's comments would only offer comfort to those who do not take this issue seriously.

Six months ago, Sepp Blatter promised reform at FIFA, yet in reality little has changed. There has yet to be a truly independent investigation into allegations of corruption made against FIFA executives during the bidding process to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

In the last year, 11 of the 24 leading members of FIFA, who make up its executive committee, have faced serious allegations of corruption.

FIFA still lacks a proper independent auditing system to show how it spends its money around the world, and their executives do not have to make the kind of public declarations of interest that are standard practice for most people in public life.

Given recent allegations that senior members of FIFA have profited from their position this is of vital importance to restoring confidence in the organisation.

Whilst some progress has been made, with promises that all FIFA members will be given a vote on where future World Cups will be held, and task-forces are being established to propose how the scrutiny of FIFA can be improved, there appears to be no real urgency for change.

Football is the world's game, and FIFA its governing body. Football doesn't belong to FIFA; it belongs to everyone who loves the game. So when such a global institution of great importance loses its way, it is the duty of those entrusted with its care to chart a course of correction.

When its leaders lack the credibility that is required to do so, a valuable function of parliaments and governments is to offer sound and independent intervention and support.

It was with that sentiment in mind that I launched, with the organisation ChangeFIFA, the International Partnership for FIFA Reform to bring together elected representatives from around the world to form one voice for a new direction.

You can read our statement for reform and this list of signatories on our website www.fifareform.com and please encourage your representatives to sign up on line.

FIFA will not change on its own, real change will require external pressure. This can come from the fans, parliaments, governments, and sponsors speaking out. We must unite to change FIFA.

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