It’s just three months since the fresh start at FIFA HQ but already the signs are not good. First came a leaked document, in the haul from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, linking New Broom President Infantino with improperly selling 2006 Champions League football broadcast rights in Ecuador. The claim being that these rights were sold to two South American front men who then immediately re-sold them for almost three times the price. A common ploy, apparently, for paying disguised bribes and kickbacks.
Then this month FIFA appointed its first female secretary general to replace the banned Jerome Valkcke. Good move. And who was the high-profile appointee to this critical post? The head of womens football in, say, Germany? A former international player or even a football club owner – like Norwich City’s Delia Smith?
No. It was a Ms Fatma Samoura, a UN official who has represented six different African countries during her 21 years there. But lacking any apparent experience of football or indeed any form of sports administration. Needless to say the reaction amongst football fans was one of incredulity.
Just one day later came the news that FIFA Audit and Compliance Chairman Domenico Scala had resigned in protest against a power grab by President Gianni Infantino over control of independent panels that monitor the governing body.
Then this week saw FIFA dismiss its Deputy Secretary General (Markus Kattner) with immediate effect. The reason – he is accused of paying himself bonuses totaling millions of euros during the time he was Director of Finance.
So FIFA’s tattered reputation is still on the way down – and that’s before all the court cases relating to former officials get started …