Football's international governing body FIFA has published a draft code of conduct that, amongst other things, aims to tackle corruption within the game. A transparency task force will present its conduct charter on 25 May 2012 in Budapest, where it will need to be endorsed by FIFA's 2012 Congress.
FIFA, and its president Sepp Blatter, have come under increased pressure in recent years following a number of high profile incidents. The background against which the draft code of conduct has been published is match-fixing scandals occurring around the world, perhaps most notably in Italy in 2006; allegations of vote-rigging during the selection process for the host countries of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments, in which Russian and Qatar were ultimately chosen; and corruption discovered during the FIFA presidential race last year, when Blatter's only rival candidate, Mohamed bin Hammam, was ultimately removed from the running and banned from football when it was uncovered that he had paid $40,000 in bribes to Caribbean voters. Most recently, there have been allegations of bribery of FIFA officials and a report by the Council of Europe has criticised FIFA and Blatter for the way the allegations have been handled within the organisation.
It is hoped the new code will assist Blatter in his current two-year campaign to cleanse and modernise FIFA. It sets out eleven core principles, which are to apply to officials, FIFA employees, players and associations. Notable inclusions within the core principles are:
- to reject and condemn all forms of bribery and corruption;
- to behave ethically and act with integrity in all situations;
- to seek transparency and strive to maintain a good compliance culture with checks and balances; and
- not to tolerate any form of manipulation or unlawful influencing of match results.
There are also proposed changes to FIFA's ethics committee, which will be split into two entities, one to investigate allegations and another to rule on them.