WORLD football governing body Fifa will demand audited annual accounts from national associations from July 1 for its development programmes in a bid to enhance compliance with its statutes.
REPORT BY SPORTS EDITOR
This came out of Fifa’s executive committee meeting that was concluded yesterday at the Home of Fifa in Switzerland.
A Press release said: “Drafted at the suggestion of the Independent Governance Committee and reviewed last Monday by Fifa’s Development Committee, the document defines the overall rules and principles applicable to all development programmes for member associations and confederations, with the objective of enhancing their governance structure and compliance.
“The new regulations build on the strict audit and compliance requirements already in place, while imposing a set of further conditions that member associations and confederations will have to fulfil in order to be eligible for Fifa development programmes.
“Prerequisites include audited annual accounts, an auditing company appointed by the member association’s general assembly to control the yearly financial statements presented by its executive body, the submission of an annual audit report to the general assembly, and the employment of a general secretary and a technical director.”
Zifa has had problems in producing audited accounts and the last presentation by board member (finance) Elliott Kasu was rejected by the general assembly.
Further measures to be implemented within the scope of the new regulations include the publication on FIFA.com of comprehensive data such as the amounts allocated and the names of the suppliers and auditors hired for Fifa-funded projects, a systematic tender process for expenses equal to or over $50 000, the centralisation of all Fifa programme-related transactions to the “Fifa programme account” held in the name of the member association or confederation, and the obligation for each member association to avoid negative balances on its Fifa programme account.
Fifa’s development budget for the 2011-2014 financial cycle amounts to $800 million, which is 56 times the amount invested in 1995-1998, when some of the flagship development initiatives were originally launched.
Thierry Regenass, Fifa’s Director of Member Associations and Development said: “Football development is Fifa’s principal objective, that’s made very clear in our Statutes. We earn money from the Fifa World Cup — that’s a fact — but that money is reinvested in football, through competitions and development programmes,” he said.
“The amount invested in Fifa development programmes came to $800 million over the 2011-2014 cycle. And so, while Fifa’s income has increased tenfold in 15 years, the amount allocated to development is now 50 times what it was in 1998,” Regenass added.
In addition, the committee gave the go-ahead for 19 new Goal projects, increasing the number of these initiatives to 103 during the 2011-2014 cycle, and to over 620 since the launch of the concept in 1999. Of these projects, 18 were earmarked for less developed countries, with each one amounting to