POSTED: May 29th 2011

Pound suggests that breakaway may be the only solution to FIFA crisis

The Home of FIFA: sunny outlook, gloomy ;prospect / LaKe Images
The Home of FIFA: sunny outlook, gloomy ;prospect / LaKe Images

KEIR RADNEDGE / Sports Features Communications

ZURICH, May 29: Dick Pound has joined the lengthening list of leading sports officials and politicians who believe that the only solution to the crisis engulfing world football federation FIFA is a breakaway authority.

Pound, former vice-president of the International Olympic Committee, said that the sport couild not afford to wait long for FIFA to clean up its act.

Interviewed on BBC Radio on the day FIFA heavyweights such as president Sepp Blatter, vice-president Jack Warner and exco member Mohamed Bin Hammam were facing the organisation's ethics committee, he added: "If FIFA is not going to do the game any good, the game may have to do something to FIFA.

"You could withdraw from FIFA, for example, and say we're not satisfied that the organisation is not being properly run and it isn't a credit to the sport we know and love, so let's have an alternative.

"That's one possibility. It has been done in other sport."

Canadian lawyer Pound, a former head of the World Anti-DopingAgency, played a significant role in uncovering scandals involving Salt Lake City's bid to host the 2002 Winter Olympics. FIFA's crisis has been described as its "Salt Lake moment."

The IOC changed the way in which Olympic bid were assessed and voted upon after it emerged officials were bribed to choose the American city as the venue for the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Pound added: "There are so many allegations of corruption and foul play and so forth around the activities of FIFA itself and in some of its recent selections for its events, so if there is that much smoke, there may be some fire

"I should have thought it's not good for FIFA's reputation nor for the reputations of anyone involved for these things to be flying around without someone taking action.

"When something like this happened to the IOC, we took it extremely seriously. It was a difficult and painful process and when we emerged people understood we had done our best to try to get at the facts and deal firmly with those who had transgressed.

"The perception of the IOC today is quite different from what it was in 1998 or 1999. If the perceptions of an organisation is that the organisation is rife with corruption then it is up to the organisation either to demonstrate that it's not or if it finds that it is to take whatever remedial measures are appropriate."

Keywords · Pound · FIFA · IOC · Salt Lake City

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