Issa Hayatou reaches out and outlines Fifa’s future

Fifa’s acting head & general-secretary write a letter to stakeholders & football lovers.

Issa Hayatou. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Acting Fifa president Issa Hayatou and acting general secretary Markus Kattner have written an open letter to football stakeholders and football lovers around the world, in which they reflect on the events that have taken place involving the football governing body in 2015, as well as how the organisation seeks to reshape itself and move on from a tumultuous year.

The open letter comes at a time when the futures of both outgoing president Sepp Blatter and Uefa boss Michel Platini hang in the balance, as they attend hearings before Fifa's ethics committee to face charges of corruption.

Here's the full letter from Hayatou and Kattner:

Dear friends of football,

FIFA has faced unprecedented difficulties this year in a crisis that has shaken global football governance to its core. We are now moving through a period of necessary change to protect the future of our organisation. We maintain that the majority of those working in football governance do so in the right way and for the right reasons, but it has become clear that root-and-branch reform is the only way to deter future wrongdoing and to restore faith in FIFA. For these reasons, this year and the immediate years to come will be among the most important for FIFA since it was founded in 1904.

A new FIFA President will be elected at the Congress in February, offering the opportunity to start a new chapter. It is vital to recognise that this will be only the beginning. We will need to work hard together over the coming years to win back the trust and respect of fans, players, commercial affiliates and all the many millions of participants who make football the world's most popular sport.

We are confident that the new reform measures approved by the FIFA Executive Committee in December, alongside the separate actions of the Swiss and US authorities, will lay the foundations for a stronger, more transparent and more accountable and more ethical governing body of football.

We call on all of FIFA's member associations to fully support, implement and abide by the new reforms. The future of FIFA and the global development of football depend on our full commitment to embracing a change in culture from top to bottom, through the following key reform points:

• A clear separation of powers between the political side of global football and the day-to-day financial and business operations of FIFA, such as organising competitions and football development investments, will help to protect our integrity and avoid conflicts of interest. All financial transactions will be monitored by a fully independent body.

• Member associations must mirror the above structure and comply with principles of good governance, such as establishing independent judicial bodies. They will also be accountable for the conduct of their entire team and any third parties that they work with.

• Strict term limits for senior positions within FIFA of three four-year terms will ensure that no single person can wield too much power or influence.

• An explicit commitment in the FIFA Statutes to develop women's football and to promote the full participation of women at all levels of football governance, including a minimum of one female representative from each region in the new FIFA Council.

• Central integrity checks by an independent body for all appointments to FIFA bodies and senior management.

• Members of the new FIFA Council must be elected by the member associations from each respective region under new FIFA governance regulations and monitored by the new, independent FIFA Review Committee.

• More independent and properly qualified members of key committees such as finance, development, governance and compliance to provide a stronger layer of neutrality and scrutiny.

• More involvement from the football community (players, clubs, leagues, member associations, etc.) in decision making.

• A statutory commitment by FIFA to uphold and protect internationally recognised human rights in all its activities.

There may be further challenges ahead, and it will take time for these reforms to take effect, but our resolve to rebuild FIFA for the better remains steadfast. Our aim is to establish a secure, professional and fully accountable sports organisation by the time of the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ in Russia. We are confident that this is a realistic target, and we look forward to returning our full focus to FIFA's primary mission of promoting and developing football everywhere, and for all.

The hundreds of millions of fans, players, coaches and others dedicated to football around the world deserve nothing less from those of us with the incredible responsibility and privilege of governing and guiding global football.