Francois Carrard, former director-general of the International Olympic Committee, has been confirmed as head of the revived reform committee being set up by FIFA in the wake of the latest corruption scandal.
Swiss lawyer Carrard has extensive experience of governance reform since he headed the IOC administration, under presidents Juan Antonio Samaranch and then Jacques Rogge, which had to deal with the fall-out from the Salt Lake City scandal.
He will also be setting up his own personal advisory group in addition to the panel nominated by FIFA’s own confederations.
Carrard said: “It is vital for the future of global football to restore the integrity and reputation of its governing body. As the independent chairman, I am committed to delivering the necessary package of credible reforms, working with representatives from within football and wider society.
“To that end, I will establish an independent advisory board, made up of representatives from outside football, to support the work of the committee and provide an additional layer of independent expertise.”
The 14 commission members include the Australian former IOC vice-president Kevan Gosper, one of two nominations from the Asian football confederation.
The other is Kuwaiti Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, a major powerbroker in the Olympic movement, current IOC member and also a recently-appointed member of the FIFA executive committee.
Sheikh Ahmad is one of three members of the FIFA exco on the commission, the others being Hany Abo Rida, a vice-president of the Egyptian federation, and Constant Omar Selemanu, head of the football association of Congo DR.
The African confederation is thus the only one of FIFA’s six regions which has looked so directly ‘in-house’ for both its nominees.
UEFA, the European federation, will be represented by its Scottish legal adviser Alasdair Bell and general secretary Gianni Infantino. The nomination of Infantino is intriguing since he has been subject of speculation that he might become FIFA secretary-general if UEFA president Michel Platini wins the world federation’s top job at the extraordinary elective congress next February 26.
Thus far Frenchman Platini is the only heavyweight candidate to have declared formal intent though ex-FIFA vice-president Chung Mong-joon from South Korea is expected to follow suit shortly.
By far the most controversial inclusion on the task force is that Gorka Villar, director-general of the South American confederation CONMEBOL.
Villar is son of long-serving Spanish federation leader Angel Maria Villar who is a vice-president of both FIFA and UEFA and is considered one of the most conservative and anti-reformist of senior officials.
Two members of the commission have yet to be nominated by FIFA’s sponsors.
Outgoing president Blatter said: “We believe Dr Carrard is the right person to drive this reform process forward as an independent chairman with a proven track record in governance reforms.
“We are confident that he can help FIFA to strengthen its governance structures in a credible and meaningful way. FIFA’s commercial partners will also play a key role in the reforms, and we will be discussing with them the most productive way to include their views.”