FIFA will lack credibility until Sepp Blatter leaves his role as president, a leading integrity expert says.
Blatter has been accused of bribery and corruption and of being a dictator of world football’s governing body.
Michael Hershman, who served on FIFA’s Independent Governance Committee, said that Blatter’s presence was directly causing a lack of belief in the organisation.
“I don’t believe FIFA will ever have enough credibility unless there’s a change in leadership and that doesn’t appear to be happening,” he said.
Blatter recently announced his intention to run for a fifth term as president, having begun his reign in 1998.
Hershman, who is the founder of anti-corruption organisation, Transparency International, said nothing will change unless those who hold the money are persuaded.
“There’s a great deal of cynicism about FIFA and frankly it’s well-deserved, but I’d rather see more anger than cynicism,” he said.
Blatter recently insisted that an internal investigative report into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups would remain private.
Hershman said that decision was another indication of FIFA and Blatter burying bad news.
“I would like to see FIFA release the report, with appropriate protection for people’s privacy, because some people may be innocent,” Hershman told a conference of the International Centre of Sport Security in London.
“Without a release of the report, FIFA will continue to be ridiculed in the press and by other stakeholders.
“I find it very odd that a few executives called for the release of the report, then they had a meeting of the executive board, and president Blatter said there had been no calls for the report to be released.
“That gives you the idea of internal pressures that people face within FIFA to toe the line.”