The Football Association today called on FIFA to postpone tomorrow’s presidential election where Sepp Blatter is standing unopposed.
FA chairman David Bernstein also wants FIFA to appoint an independent body to supervise reforms after the revelations and accusations of the last month that have caused a crisis in the world governing body.
Bernstein said in a statement: “On May 19, 2011, the Football Association announced it would be abstaining in the forthcoming election for the FIFA Presidency.
“There were two main reasons for this decision. First, a concern, that a series of allegations relating to FIFA ExCo Members made it difficult to support either candidate.
“Secondly, a concern about the lack of transparency and accountability within the organisation, contributing to the current unsatisfactory situation.
“Events of the last few days have reinforced our views, and we call on FIFA and ask other national associations to support us with two initiatives.
“First, to postpone the election and give credibility to this process, so any alternative reforming candidate could have the opportunity to stand for president.
“Secondly, to appoint a genuinely independent external party to make recommendations regarding improved governance and compliance procedures and structures throughout the FIFA decision making processes for consideration by the full membership.
“This has been a very damaging time for the reputation of FIFA and therefore the whole of football. To improve confidence in the way the game is governed at the very top, we believe these requests would be a positive step forward and the minimum that should take place.”
Bernstein’s call comes after Asian football chief Mohamed Bin Hammam pulled out of the race against Blatter at the weekend, hours before he was provisionally banned from all football-related activities on bribery charges.
Blatter meanwhile has admitted FIFA face “difficulties” but insisted there was no crisis.
The FIFA president appeared at a news conference yesterday after another extraordinary day of revelations, claims and denials involving the world governing body’s most senior officials.
Blatter, though, appeared defiant and determined to press on with the election.
The news conference came shortly after FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke had confirmed that he sent an email suggesting the 2022 World Cup was “bought” - but insisted he was referring to Qatar using their “financial strength” to legitimately lobby for votes.
Asked about FIFA facing a crisis, Blatter said: “Crisis? What is a crisis? Football is not in a crisis.
“If you see the final match of the Champions League you must applaud. We are not in a crisis we are only in some difficulties and these will be solved inside our family.”
The Scottish Football Association have also called for FIFA to postpone the presidential election.
Scottish FA chief executive Stewart Regan said: “The Scottish FA can today confirm its position that the FIFA presidential election be postponed in light of recent uncertainty.
“We believe the election should be rescheduled to facilitate a period of consultation to deal with the issues that have arisen in recent weeks.
“The events of the last two days, in particular, have made any election unworkable.
“The integrity and reputation of the game across the world is paramount and the Scottish FA urges FIFA to reconsider its intentions, and calls on other member associations to consider the long-term implications for the game’s image.
“We also propose the following actions: FIFA should appoint a wholly independent ethics committee; a significant comprehensive plan should be formulated and presented by FIFA to its members regarding essential changes to its governance, decision-making processes and transparency; a new date is set for the presidential election, giving suitable candidates time to prepare and present their plans for a more transparent and accountable FIFA.”