Since my election as chairperson of the newly formed Governance, Audit and Compliance Committee in May 2021, and indeed in the months preceding that, FIFA has worked tirelessly to fulfil its mandate of ensuring the highest level of governance, compliance and supervision during one of the most challenging periods of our time.
The merging of the Governance Committee with the Audit and Compliance Committee was one of the key amendments to the FIFA Statutes approved at the 71ˢᵗ FIFA Congress, and reflects FIFA’s commitment to delivering a robust and holistic governance structure while also ensuring the necessary independence of the three pillars of governance, audit and compliance.
Since the committee’s inception, its duties have grown – and I have been greatly encouraged by the seamless transition. The new body has continued to supervise the distribution of funds under FIFA Forward and the FIFA COVID-19 Relief Plan in a fair and transparent way to ensure that resources are provided fairly to the football family all around the world.
The US Department of Justice’s decision to award the FIFA Foundation over USD 201 million also gave the committee the responsibility of overseeing the administration of this award by the newly formed World Football Remission Fund, which will be responsible for ensuring that the money is channelled back to where it is most needed – the development of football across the globe. This work has never been more critical, given the difficult times in which we now find ourselves.
Committee members have also taken on an extended oversight role in relation to human rights and social responsibility, as well as audit and compliance, with two dedicated working groups being formed for this purpose. FIFA strongly believes that the power of football – and by extension, the tournaments it organises – provides an unmissable opportunity to drive sustainable change and build legacies that will positively impact future generations long beyond the moment the last ball is kicked.
It is the present committee’s role and endeavour to ensure that it delivers on these expectations. This should be viewed as an opportunity rather than a challenge – a commitment about which, I can safely say on behalf of my colleagues throughout FIFA, we are all passionate.
Last but by no means least, it is important to reiterate that the Review Committee is committed to ensuring that levels of independence and impartiality are as high as possible and that compensation-related matters remain a top priority for its members. Such matters will continue to be handled with the utmost transparency and fairness by the Compensation Sub-Committee throughout the coming year and beyond.
Chairperson of the Governance, Audit and Compliance Committee