World football’s scandal-hit governing body Fifa embraced reform proposals on Tuesday that would prevent anyone from holding its presidency for longer than 12 years, or past the age of 74, while giving women more say in the running of the sport.
The recommendations were put forward by a Reform Committee set up by Fifa in July in response to investigations by US and Swiss authorities into high-level corruption in football.
They were unveiled 12 days after Fifa suspended Sepp Blatter, the 79-year-old who has led it since 1998 and is under investigation in his native Switzerland on suspicion of criminal mismanagement and misappropriation of funds.
“Essential changes to the culture of Fifa are necessary to effect lasting change on the organisation and to restore Fifa’s reputation so that it can focus on its mission: to promote football throughout the world,” the Reform Committee said.
Fifa’s Executive Committee said it welcomed the proposals, under which the committee would be replaced by a new ‘Fifa Council’ including at least six women, one from each region.
A full set of proposals will be produced at the next executive committee in December and then be put to Fifa’s congress on February 26, where all 209 member associations will vote. The congress will also elect a successor to Blatter, in a contest that was thrown wide open when front-runner Michel Platini was suspended on October 8.