FIFA, A NEW ERA
Dr. Chung Mong-Joon
FIFA Honorary Vice President
FIFA President Candidacy Announcement Speech
August 17, 2015, Paris
Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today, it is my great privilege and honor to announce my candidacy for the presidency of FIFA.
FIFA is about football.
However, it is more than a game. It is about governance.
Today, FIFA is undergoing a profound crisis. Under these circumstances, the FIFA President must be a crisis manager and a reformer. He must be more than just a head of the technical department.
It has pained me to witness the spectacle of the FIFA President being booed by the fans at football stadiums everywhere. In 2011, when a European sports magazine conducted a survey asking, “What do you think about FIFA President Joseph Blatter?”, 95 percent said, “Blatter is ruining football.”
In 1904, FIFA was founded here in Paris. In its 111-year history, FIFA has had eight presidents. Practically speaking, they were all Europeans.
We now live in a different era. FIFA needs to reflect the different reality.
Continuity is important, but so is change.
Let us look at the world today.
Asia has 4.4 billion people. Africa has 1.2 billion. Together, they make up more than 80 percent of the world population. If the major cities of Asia and Africa can have their own football clubs that can compete with European clubs, imagine what that will do for world football.
This is the future of football. This is not just a dream.
It is time that FIFA embodies this vision of the future.
It is time for new leadership.
It is time to restore common-sense at FIFA.
As soon as I joined FIFA twenty years ago, I started to call out for transparency and accountability.
In a 1995 speech titled, “World Cup and its Future,” this is what I said:
“More transparency is needed. Historically, the process and decision-making on the marketing and TV rights contracts has been handled by very few people behind closed doors. I believe this will change.”
I even went into detail about how to fix this.
I said, FIFA’s Media Committee should be involved in the process to ensure all media needs are considered and coverage optimized.
The Finance Committee should provide guidance on fiscal conditions. Finally, the FIFA Executive Committee should be the ultimate decision-making body on the marketing and TV rights contract. Greater transparency is essential because the World Cup has been financially undervalued.”
Can you think of a stronger warning than this?
When I first arrived at FIFA, I found it strange that even though FIFA boasted the World Cup had three times more TV audiences than the Olympics, FIFA’s revenue for TV broadcasting rights was smaller than the IOC’s. How was this possible? Why didn’t anyone notice this discrepancy?
So much of FIFA’s corruption came precisely from this.
More recently, Transparency International had produced a report in 2011. FIFA’s Independent Governance Committee produced a three-part report from 2012 to 2014.
But why were these findings not implemented?
The problem at FIFA is that those mired in corruption, the only thing they are interested in is hiding the corruption.
The ISL and VISA-MasterCard cases are only the most blatant examples of FIFA corruption and efforts to cover up. I brought copies of the ISL summary for your reference.
In his resignation statement, Mr. Blatter blamed the Executive Committee for blocking the reforms and later the Confederations for corruption.
FIFA has been very successful financially for several decades. But every success creates its own problems.
After decades of ever-widening circle of corruption, FIFA needs a leader who can bring back common sense, transparency, and accountability.
Today, we are in Paris, the birthplace of FIFA. I want to ask just one question: “If Europe had provided healthy and discerning leadership, would FIFA be in this kind of mess today?” This is not a criticism, but an appeal to you to think.
The core issue of this election is whether the 40 year old system of corruption should continue or not.
If I am elected, I will only serve one term, four years. I can change FIFA in 4 years. This is my pledge to all the football fans in the world.
Let me close by expressing my deepest condolences to Franz Beckenbauer on the recent passing of his son. We all share his loss, and our thoughts are with him and his family. I would also like to wish former FIFA President Joao Havelange and UEFA President Lennart Johansson early recoveries from their illnesses.
My campaign promises are as follows:
1. Strengthen ‘checks & balances’ between the presidency, the Executive Committee and judicial bodies.
2. Transform the Congress into an open forum.
3. Impose term limit on the President. I will serve one term.
4. Increase financial transparency.
5. Disclose the president’s salary, bonuses and expenses.
6. Increase the Financial Assistance Program (FAP) to national football associations, by adopting a more sensible and flexible mechanism of distribution.
7. Promote greater female representation at the various levels of FIFA.
8. Elevate the Women’s World Cup to a new dimension by raising the prize money.
Thank you very much.