News 17th June 2015

FIFA Presidential election to take the same format

FIFA has confirmed that the election of the next FIFA President will take the same format as the 29 May election that returned Joseph S. Blatter for his fifth term. On 20 July, FIFA is holding an Executive Committee meeting to determine how and when the next Presidential Election will take place, after Blatter stood down. “As far as the FIFA Presidential election is concerned, we refer you to the FIFA Statutes and the Electoral Regulations for the FIFA Presidency”, a FIFA spokesperson told the Sports Integrity Initiative.

This means that FIFA is likely to once again pay for travel and accommodation costs for its 209 Member Associations to vote in a secret ballot for a new President. FIFA’s Statutes mandate that its Congress elects the FIFA President. FIFA’s Standing Orders of the Congress, on page 71 of its Statutes, requires FIFA to fund accommodation and travel costs for up to three member association representatives to attend Congress. Under Article 17.3 of FIFA’s Electoral Regulations for the FIFA Presidency, ‘Only the FIFA members present are entitled to vote’, and they get one vote each, regardless of size, in a secret ballot.

If only Congress is allowed to elect the FIFA President and only present Member Associations are allowed to vote, then this means FIFA will have to convene a new Congress to elect a new FIFA President. This means funding the accommodation and travel costs of up to three representatives from each of the 209 FIFA Member Associations.

It can afford to do this. ‘Having sufficient reserves is of great importance to FIFA’s financial independence and its ability to react to unexpected events’, read FIFA’s 2014 accounts, which showed that its cash reserves stood at US$1.523 billion on 31 December 2014. The 2015 FIFA Congress also approved the allocation of $36 million for the organisation of the ‘annual FIFA Congress and committees’. The 2016 Congress is due to take place in Mexico City, 12-13 May.

However, Luis Figo referred to how this process could skew the election results when he withdrew from standing against Blatter on 21 May. ‘This electoral process is anything but an election’, he wrote. ‘This (election) process is a plebiscite for the delivery of absolute power to one man – something I refuse to go along with’. On 11 June, the European Parliament urged FIFA’s Executive Committee to ‘guarantee open, balanced and democratic decision-making processes within FIFA, including in the election process of the new President’.

FIFA Confederations: voting power

Confederation Member Associations
Asian Football Confederation (AFC) 46
Confederation of African Football (CAF) 52
Confederation of North, Central American and
Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF)
35
Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol (CONMEBOL) 10
UEFA 53
Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) 11
Total* 207

There are 209 FIFA member associations, but only 207 listed on the FIFA website. 

BrazilvSeychellesInfographic

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