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SBD Global/June 3, 2013/International Football
FIFA Makes Lydia Nsekera First Woman Elected To Executive Committee During Congress
Published June 3, 2013
NEW REFORMS: The AP's Gerald Imray reported FIFA "put in place tougher measures on racism, introduced integrity checks on senior officials and gave a woman a full four-year term on its ruling board" on Friday. Still, some insist FIFA "is not doing enough." Blatter, however, "was gratified by the steps following the scandals of the last few years." Blatter: "I am happy to say that FIFA has weathered the storm. We have emerged from troubled waters." However, the head of the reform panel advising FIFA said that there is "still much to do." Swiss professor Mark Pieth said that FIFA "must make public the salaries and bonuses of its big earners and set age and term limits for senior officials." Also, independent observers "have not yet been allowed" onto FIFA's decision-making exec committee (AP, 5/31). In London, James Olley reported FIFA "passed a new resolution promising tougher sanction on teams found guilty of racist incidents." First-time offenders "will receive a warning or a fine while multiple offences could lead to a points deduction, games behind closed doors or even relegation or expulsion from competitions." A 99% majority approved the "resolution on the fight against racism and discrimination" (EVENING STANDARD, 5/31). The London GUARDIAN reported FIFA also "passed measures dictating that players or officials found guilty of racist abuse in any game should be banned for five matches." The sanction "had previously only applied" to FIFA internationals. Additionally, the FIFA resolution provides for the presence of "a specialised official to be in the stadium to identify potential acts of racism or discrimination" (GUARDIAN, 5/31).
BLATTER ON PALESTINE: REUTERS' Brian Homewood reported Blatter told the Palestine FA that he would "personally intervene to try to end their long-running sporting problems with Israel." Blatter said that he would "go to the region in July to speak to politicians and sporting authorities to find a solution to Israeli travel restrictions on Palestinian players and visitors to the West Bank." Palestinians are angry that Israel's security forces "frequently prevent athletes from travelling freely between the two areas." Israel cites security concerns, but said that it "has eased travel for athletes between the Palestinian territories." Blatter: "Football should not be a victim of such situations" (REUTERS, 5/31).