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FIFA reforms will restore credibility - acting president Issa Hayatou

Acting FIFA president Issa Hayatou has insisted that football's world governing body is moving in the right direction after a series of reforms were announced in the wake of two more senior officials being arrested as part of the ongoing corruption investigations.

Interim CONCACAF president Alfredo Hawit and CONMEBOL chief Juan Angel Napout were arrested in Zurich on Thursday as FIFA's Executive Committee met to discuss the way forward for the under-fire organisation.

And Hayatou, who took over from the suspended Sepp Blatter, claims that they are dedicated to ensuring that FIFA is accountable in the future.

"These reforms are moving FIFA towards improved governance, greater transparency and more accountability," Hayatou told a news conference.

"They mark a milestone on our path towards restoring FIFA's credibility as a modern, trusted and professional sports organisation.

"This signals the beginning of a culture shift at FIFA. It is important to recognise that today's recommendations build on the foundations established by the IGC in 2011 under Mark Pieth's leadership, which included the creation of an independent chairman on the Audit and Compliance Committee and splitting the Ethics Committee into investigative and adjudicatory chambers.

"As the February Congress approaches, I want to encourage all presidential candidates to embrace this spirit of reform and, as they campaign, to make clear their plans on how they would help FIFA enact these and other reform measures, should they be elected."

One of the reforms agreed was that Blatter's successor, who will be announced in the elections on Feb. 26, 2016, should serve no longer than a total of three four-year terms.

The limited term will also apply to members of the FIFA Council, a group which replace the ExCo and would be responsible for "setting the organisation's overall strategic direction, while the general secretariat will oversee the operational and commercial actions required to effectively execute that strategy."

One female representative will sit on the FIFA Council for each of the six continental confederations, while FIFA said that it would defer a decision over a 40-team World Cup.

FIFA's acting secretary general Markus Kattner also confirmed the reforms, to be put to FIFA's Congress in February, would see the salaries of the president and senior officials made public.

He outlined a two-year timetable for implementing the changes with FIFA recognised as a "modern, trusted professional organisation'' by December 2018 after a successful World Cup in Russia.

The independent chairman of the 2016 FIFA Reform Committee, Francois Carrard, 77 -- who was the International Olympic Committee's director-general during its own corruption scandal -- revealed that there was work to be done.

"We are far from finished, this is only the beginning of a new era, a new process, but it's a very important step today," he told a news conference

"It was impressive this morning to see all members without exception supporting and showing their determination to carry out this reform process.

"This unanimous consensus is not such a simple fact because when this committee was appointed, it was challenged and criticised as not independent. But I accepted the challenge because reform must be made from within and not just from without."


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