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Special group to develop FIFA reforms by September — Russian sports minister

July 20, 2015, 16:21 UTC+3

Restrictions on the number of the FIFA president's terms in office will be on the list of reforms

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© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

MOSCOW, July 20. /TASS/. A special group will develop reforms of the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) by September and present them to the Executive Committee, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told TASS on Monday.

Restrictions on the number of the FIFA president's terms in office would be on the list of reforms, said Vitaly Mutko, member of the FIFA Executive Committee.

The Executive Committee has fixed February 26 as the date of an extraordinary congress of FIFA, where a new president will be elected.

"The congress will look into two main issues. First of them is approval of the reforms. A special working group that has been set up will submit up to eight proposals," he said.

"They will concern elections of Executive Committee members, terms in office, elections of the president, elections of the host country [of world cups]," he said, adding that the working group would possibly be led by an independent person. The group will put forwards proposals before September and then will submit them to the Executive Committee.

It is expected that FIFA may limit the term of FIFA presidency for one person to three terms of four years.

An unprecedented corruption scandal flared up in FIFA on morning of May 27, one day before the 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich, as seven of the organization’s high-ranking officials were arrested in Switzerland on bribery, money laundering and corruption charges. The scandal involves two separate criminal proceedings.

Firstly, the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York is conducting a criminal investigation into the awarding of media, marketing and sponsorship rights for soccer tournaments in the United States and Latin America. Secondly, the Swiss Office of the Attorney General is conducting a criminal investigation into the selection of Russia as the host country for the 2018 World Cup and Qatar as the host country for 2022.

The arrests of the seven FIFA top officials were made by the Swiss police at the request from the US authorities.

The US Department of Justice announced on May 27 that a total of 14 people (nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives) were indicted for racketeering conspiracy and corruption.

On top of all, shortly after FIFA President Sepp Blatter announced his plans to resign on June 2, some media reports informed that the FIFA chief was being investigated by the FBI and US prosecutors as part of the corruption case in the organization.

Blatter, 79, was reelected for his fifth consecutive four-year presidential term on May 29, when his only rival Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan pulled out after the first round of vote. However, addressing a news conference in Zurich on June 2, Blatter said he decided to lay down his mandate at FIFA extraordinary elective Congress.

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