FIFA ethics committee to carry out 'integrity checks' on presidential candidates

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Domenico Scala, the official overseeing FIFA's presidential election, has confirmed that all candidates will need to pass integrity checks before they can stand.

One of the three main candidates, Chung Mong-Joon from South Korea, has claimed that reports he is under investigation by the FIFA ethics committee is evidence of an attempt from within the world governing body to sabotage his candidacy.

UEFA president Michel Platini and Prince Ali of Jordan, who was defeated by Sepp Blatter in May, are also standing and Scala, the head of FIFA's independent audit and compliance committee, says the ethics committee will have to give the green light to all candidates ahead of the February 26 election.


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Scala said in a conference call: "At the end of the day, it goes down to the merits of the accusations. The ethics committee carries out the integrity checks and we [the election committee] will rely heavily on the assessment of the ethics committee."

Meanwhile, Scala has published his own eight-point plan for FIFA reform but has admitted there is no guarantee his recommendations will be taken up.

The 13-strong FIFA reform commission has been given the blueprint by Scala and he has also presented his plan to FIFA's executive committee following Blatter's announcement he is to step down as president next year.

The eight recommendations contain little that had not already been suggested by a previous reform body, the independent governance committee (IGC), three years ago - Scala has called for term limits for officials, transparency over FIFA executives' pay, integrity checks and a shake-up of how the executive committee is elected. World Cup bids would also not be allowed to offer to fund development programmes.

Scala was overlooked for the chairmanship of the new reform commission - that post went to former Olympics director Francois Carrard - but he insisted he was not too close to FIFA and was right to publish his own recommendations.

"I think that is complete rubbish," Scala said. "It is absolutely my function to make views known. I have made a very stringent report about what the issues are and how it needs to be addressed.

"If FIFA does not move, public opinion will not change.

"I made it very clear when Mr Blatter laid down his mandate in June that it was not only about the change of presidency but that there were certain systemic issues that need to be addressed.

"We need reforms now, we cannot wait. FIFA works very well operationally and has not come to a halt. But this is a watershed in terms of role and perception going forward."

Carrard's commission will make its own recommendations to FIFA's executive committee in December.

Scala said term limits were at the crux of FIFA's governance problems.

He added: "A number of issues have their root cause in the fact that people have stayed for far too long in a number of key positions."

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