FIFA hosts GRECO leaders to discuss good governance progress

  • Senior figures from FIFA met with GRECO to discuss collaboration opportunities

  • FIFA provided progress updates and overviews of several key governance programmes and initiatives, while GRECO shared their experience with assisting states in preventing and fighting corruption

  • The meeting followed the Council of Europe’s report in 2021, which praised the FIFA Transfer Reform System and the work done by the organisation since 2016

Leaders from FIFA’s Legal, Compliance, International Relations and Social Responsibility divisions have hosted a delegation from the Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO) to share updates and experiences on several key governance topics, and investigate potential avenues of collaboration between the two entities. Alasdair Bell, FIFA Deputy Secretary General (Administration), hosted the visiting delegation, which was led by GRECO President, Marin Mrčela. Following opening addresses from each side, the group moved on to discuss the significant progress made by FIFA, and challenges still faced moving forward. “We are pleased to welcome President Marin Mrčela and the delegation from GRECO to FIFA, and I thank them for joining us for this full and frank discussion on some of the most important topics we all face today in sports governance. Transparency, integrity and social responsibility are critical to FIFA, and it was encouraging to be able to discuss these matters today. I look forward to continuing to build on this collaboration on this important working relationship we have.”

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - MARCH 10: GRECO President Marin Mrčela during a FIFA meeting with GRECO on March 10, 2022 in Zurich, Switzerland. (Photo by Harold Cunningham/FIFA)

The meeting followed the Council of Europe’s report in 2021 – released based on the work of GRECO – which complemented FIFA’s ongoing progress in critical areas of integrity and compliance, citing the introduction of the FIFA Clearing House, which it described it as a “milestone” in implementing comprehensiveness, transparency and integrity in football. Following updates on the FIFA Transfer Reform System, the discussion moved on to cover issues including compliance and ethics, integrity, FIFA tournament bidding processes, human rights and the Safe Sport Entity – which seeks to build capacity around safeguarding and child protection within football. GRECO also raised onto the agenda the prospect of assisting with the convergence of the existing good governance frameworks, starting with the critical measures needed to mitigate the risk of corruption, and assisting with ensuring cooperation among law enforcement bodies. GRECO President, Marin Mrčela, added: “We thank FIFA for hosting us today. I am encouraged by the collaboration opportunities we have identified. Football is the world’s most prominent and popular sport, and the challenges that come with that responsibility are significant. FIFA has made remarkable progress in recent years in ensuring transparency, compliance and good governance across the sport, and we look forward to our future collaboration together.”