FIFA appoints CONMEBOL president to chair finance panel

GENEVA (AP) FIFA has appointed the president of the corruption-ravaged South American governing body to chair its finance committee.

Alejandro Dominguez of Paraguay will lead the new eight-member panel, which includes two independent officials from outside soccer, FIFA said on Friday.

The CONMEBOL president replaces another FIFA vice president, African soccer leader Issa Hayatou.

Dominguez won the South American election last year after his predecessor, Juan Angel Napout, was indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice in a soccer racketeering case and arrested in Switzerland. Two more former CONMEBOL presidents were previously indicted.

FIFA froze millions of dollars in funding to the Paraguay-based CONMEBOL during the ongoing American investigation, which does not implicate Dominguez.

FIFA states that the finance panel ''shall monitor the financial management and advise the FIFA Council on financial matters and asset management.''

FIFA budgeted to bank more than $5 billion in the four-year commercial cycle tied to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, though it still has 25 of 34 sponsor slots unsold less than 18 months before it kicks off.

With FIFA making cuts across the organization, its compensation panel seemed far from certain to offer Dominguez the same $500,000 as his predecessor in charge of the financial panel, Hayatou. That was for ''additional roles and responsibilities'' on top of a $300,000 stipend as a FIFA Council member.

CONMEBOL said later Friday that Dominguez would not seek the same money.

''The president rejected the additional $500,000 because he's already scheduled to receive $300,000 for being a member of the Council, as do all other members,'' Carmen Meza, CONMEBOL director of corporate affairs, said in a statement.

Finance committee chairman is a key appointment in the new and smaller committee structure FIFA has introduced as part of modernizing and anti-corruption reforms enacted since American and Swiss federal investigations were revealed in May 2015.

All members of the nine standing committees had to pass an integrity check by a review panel after being proposed by FIFA and its stakeholders.

New members of that Governance Committee and Review Committee include the former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, South African judge Navi Pillay.

Other members of the panel include German soccer federation president Reinhard Grindel, who is in line to join the FIFA Council in May, and Joseph Weiler, a professor at New York University's law school.

The review committee's current work includes assessing the integrity of Vitaly Mutko, an eight-year member of the FIFA executive committee who is the Russian deputy prime minister and head of organizing the 2018 World Cup. Mutko is seeking re-election to his FIFA seat in April while implicated in a Russian state program of doping and cover-ups across soccer and Olympic sports.

A revamped FIFA Stakeholders Committee overseeing increasingly wealthy and influential club soccer includes former Brazil defender Cafu and Edwin van der Sar, the former Netherlands and Manchester United goalkeeper who is now CEO at Dutch club Ajax.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has turned to his former employer, UEFA, for the new referees committee chairman, with the appointment of 2002 World Cup final official Pierluigi Collina.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.