In the wake of FIFA’s suspension of several top soccer officials, the International Olympic Committee issued a statement Thursday calling for FIFA to put an end to the corruption within the organization.
“Enough is enough,” the IOC said. “We hope that now, finally, everyone at FIFA has at last understood that they cannot continue to remain passive. They must act swiftly to regain credibility because you cannot forever dissociate the credibility of FIFA from the credibility of football. FIFA must realise that this is now about more than just a list of candidates. This is also a structural problem and will not be solved simply by the election of a new President.”
On Thursday, FIFA announced it was suspending president Sepp Blatter, secretary general Jerome Valcke and UEFA president Michel Platini for 90 days each. Chung Mong-joon, a former FIFA vice president and current presidential candidate, has been banned for six years.
FIFA said in a press release that the decision to extend the provisional bans stemmed from ongoing investigations by the FIFA ethics committee.
FIFA has been mired in scandals for months. In September, Swiss authorities announced they were opening a criminal investigation into Blatter for criminal mismanagement and misappropriation of FIFA money. In May, 14 top FIFA officials were indicted by the United States Department of Justice on corruption charges, and U.S. attorney general said in September that she expects additional criminal charges to be filed as the investigation continues.
The IOC offered FIFA a plan for reform in response to the recent unrest.
“They must do two things immediately: they must accelerate and deepen the reform process in order to comply with accountability, transparency and all the principles of good governance, as expressed in our reform programme, Olympic agenda 2020,” the IOC said. “They should also be open for a credible external presidential candidate of high integrity, to accomplish the necessary reforms and bring back stability and credibility to FIFA.”
In the aftermath of the May indictments, Blatter announced in June that he would resign. A special election for a new FIFA president will be held on Feb. 26.
- Erin Flynn