UEFA unhappy at FIFA reform delays

30 May 2013 04:17

The opening of the 63rd FIFA Congress in Mauritius on Thursday was overshadowed by a row over the decision to push back reforms of the presidential mandate until next year.

UEFA president Michel Platini led the protests against the decision by world football's governing body to delay the reforms that had previously been considered a priority.

"Quite clearly, the seven European members present at the FIFA executive committee meeting (on Tuesday) were not happy at the decision to postpone the changes to the age limit and the length of mandate for the FIFA president," Platini said after coming out of a UEFA meeting.

"FIFA said two years ago that the reforms would be ready for the end of 2013 and now these issues are being pushed back.

"And don't let them tell you UEFA have blocked these reforms. FIFA say we do not support the reforms. That is not true - we proposed them.

"Now they have been pushed back. Do you think they will be introduced next year? No, because, they are the judge and jury in this matter."

The issues of limits on the age and length of term for presidential candidates was on the agenda at the Congress in Mauritius until the executive committee decision on Tuesday to postpone them until next year's Congress in Sao Paulo.

FIFA put the postponement down to a "lack of consensus."

Back in January, UEFA proposed a an age limit of 72 for officials and a maximum of three four-year mandates.

Current FIFA president Sepp Blatter has already surpassed both thoise limits.

However, sources say UEFA are not targeting the 77-year-old Blatter on these issues, having already proposed a transition period before the new rules come into effect.

But having said he would stand aside in 2015 after being re-elected for a fourth four-year term in June 2011, the Swiss has since hinted that he will stand for a fifth term.

Platini, 57, is seen by many as a future FIFA president but has not yet taken a decision on whether he will stand for election in 2015.

This week, Blatter was once again outspoken in his opposition to the age-limit reforms, descibing them as "discrimination."

"UEFA is a very good organisation. They have the right to vote how they want. That is the democracy of FIFA," Blatter said on Thursday.

On Friday, the FIFA Congress is expected to change the way in which future World Cup hosts are named, with a collective vote by all 209 federations making up the Congress set to replace the current system, which sees only the 24-member executive committee allowed to vote.

That system came under fire after the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 finals to Russia and Qatar respectively.

The Congress is also expected to make moves towards greater equality between men and women and vote on a resolution proposing tougher sanctions in cases of racism.

Source: AFP