FIFA urged to 'come clean' in order to rescue broken reputation

FIFA needs to 'come clean' if it has any chance of restoring its reputation amid more damning claims of corruption, says one reputation management expert.

FIFA: corruption claims
FIFA: corruption claims

The bribery scandal that has plagued the world footballing body intensified last night as presidential candidate Mohammed Bin Hammam demanded that the investigation into alleged corruption be extended to include current FIFA president, Sepp Blatter.

Bin Hammam has denied the allegations made against him by FIFA executive committee member Chuck Blazer.

Bin Hammam and Fifa vice-president, Jack Warner, have been accused of offering bribes to Caribbean delegates in return for votes ahead of next week’s presidential election.

Reputation management expert Jonathan Hemus, who has previously worked with cricket’s governing body, the ICC, during allegations of match fixing, said: ‘Time is running out for the organisation to seize the initiative and commit to the changes necessary for it to restore trust.'

‘FIFA’s challenge is even greater for one important reason: the alleged corruption is not among its players, but within the organisation itself,’ he said.

He added that FIFA needed to ‘be committed, courageous and communicative’ in order to salvage its credibility.

'Commitment means facing up to the fact that it has a problem and taking decisive and sustained action to address it. Courage means making tough decisions which may cause short term pain, but which are in the best long term interests of football's reputation. Communicative means coming clean to the outside world that it has a problem, but stating that it is determined to address it and willing to open up its plans for resolution to public scrutiny.'

Eddie May, co-founder of Threepipe, called for a ‘full, independent review’ at the organisation and a public ‘clear-out of those who are found guilty of wrongdoing'.

‘FIFA’s reputation is probably as low as it possible could be,’ he said.

‘It was one thing for accusations to be made for outside the organisation, but when you start having people from the highest ranks within the organisation making accusations, there’s clearly an issue.’

He added: ‘They’ve really got to get their house in order.’

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