Football, a mirror of society, needs good governance

“Football is a common good, and since it belongs to everybody it is our responsibility to have a better representation of all stakeholders in the decision-making process,” Anne Brasseur (Luxembourg, ALDE) today said at the opening of a hearing on “Good football governance”, organised in Paris by PACE Committee on Culture in the framework of the preparation of a report on the subject.

Senior representatives of five partner organisations participated in the hearing, which focused on football governance and the protection of human rights, as well as money and football.

“We must always keep in mind the educational and social value of sport. Good governance of sports organisations are essential in order to promote the values of our democratic societies, and football governance should put the protection of minors, equality between women and men and the fight against discrimination and hate speech at the centre of their policies,” she underlined.

“There must be swift action to protect football, which is the victim of never-ending scandals. Football – and sport in general – must not become a lawless zone. We need reformed football governance, capable of upholding sporting ethics and human rights,” Mrs Brasseur added.

Financial fair play is essential, Mrs Brasseur stated, but it always should be accompanied by proper implementation. “Transparency of financial flows and control over the use of money are needed, just as much as independent supervisory bodies, football development programmes and solidarity between professional and amateur football,” she concluded.

Participants in the hearing included Omar Ongaro, Football Regulatory Director of FIFA; Fani Misailidi, Head of Public Affairs; Alasdair Bell, General Counsel and Legal Affairs Director of UEFA ; Lars Christen Olsson, President of the European Professional Football Leagues; Jonas Baer-Hoffmann, Policy Director; and Michele Centenaro, Secretary General of the European Club Association .

In a recent resolution, the Parliamentary Assembly has called for a speedier reform of FIFA governance and the adoption of binding measures to ensure enhanced transparency in its financial management and its decision-making. The Assembly has also recommended that UEFA continue its governance reform.

The report being prepared by Mrs Brasseur will focus on these two organisations but also on other partners such as the organisations representing European professional football leagues, clubs and professional footballers as well as NGOs working to promote good governance in sport.

The report should be submitted to the Committee for discussion and adoption by the end of the year.