British MPs are urging the English, Scottish and Welsh Football Associations to help stop the internal reform of FIFA from becoming a "sham," according to Richard Conway of the BBC. FIFA Independent Governance Committee member Alexandra Wrage said the reform process had been "neutered" after several measures were rejected by the world governing body. These measures included "toughening up the process for deciding how future World Cups are awarded" and disclosing how much FIFA President Sepp Blatter and other leading executives are paid. Following Wrage's complaints, representatives from the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties have requested that the English, Scottish and Welsh FAs "ensure some of the IGC's rejected proposals are discussed" at FIFA's annual congress in May. Conservative MP Damian Collins, in a letter to David Bernstein, wrote: "This was supposed to be the moment when Fifa embraced the need for greater transparency in its financial affairs and key decision-making processes. Instead the impression has been created that Sepp Blatter and the Fifa executive committee have no serious commitment to reform, and that the whole process has been a sham" (BBC, 3/28).
UEFA has recommended that referees stop matches when there are incidents of racism and says it will "fully support" them if they follow its advice, according to Brian Homewood of REUTERS. In a resolution issued in conjunction with the European Clubs Association (ECA) and the world players' union FIFPro, UEFA reminded referees that they had been authorized four years ago to "stop matches in case of serious racism incidents from the stands or on the pitch." The resolution also called on coaches and players to speak out "even if it meant criticising their own players and fans." The resolution "recommends and fully supports referees to stop matches in cases of racism and calls on national associations and leagues to do the same" (REUTERS, 3/28).
Asian Football Confederation presidential candidate Yousuf Al-Serkal said that European football leaders "should urge FIFA to move the World Cup in Qatar to cooler winter months," according to the AP. Al-Serkal said that "influential power brokers in Europe could lead the debate," which has intensified more than two years after FIFA chose Qatar to host in June and July '22. Al-Serkal: "Major clubs from Europe and also major football federations should seek with FIFA to move this competition from the summer. I think the decision should be taken now." FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke recently suggested that "medical advice could be cited to justify a winter move" (AP, 3/28).