Motion for a resolution - B8-0574/2015Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on recent revelations of high-level corruption cases in FIFA

8.6.2015 - (2015/2730(RSP))

to wind up the debate on the statements by the Council and the Commission
pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Laura Ferrara, Isabella Adinolfi, Ignazio Corrao, Rolandas Paksas, Marco Valli, Marco Zanni on behalf of the EFDD Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0548/2015

Procedure : 2015/2730(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
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European Parliament resolution on recent revelations of high-level corruption cases in FIFA


The European Parliament,

–       having regard to the recent corruption scandal involving a number of high-level FIFA officials,

–       having regard to its resolution of 2 February 2012 on the European dimension in sport[1],

–       having regard to its resolution of 14 March 2013 on match-fixing and corruption in sport[2],

–       having regard to its resolution of 23 October 2013 on organised crime, corruption and money laundering: recommendations on action and initiatives to be taken[3],

–       having regard to the Commission’s EU Anti-Corruption Report of 3 February 2014 (COM(2014)0038),

–       having regard to the Commission White Paper on Sport of 11 July 2007 (COM(2007)0391),

–       having regard to the Commission communication of 18 January 2011 entitled ‘Developing the European Dimension in Sport’ (COM(2011)0012),

–       having regard to the United Nations Convention against Corruption of 31 October 2003,

–       having regard to Council Framework Decision 2003/568/JHA of 22 July 2003 on combating corruption in the private sector[4],

–       having regard to the Commission communication of 6 June 2011 entitled ‘Fighting Corruption in the EU’ (COM(2011)0308),

–       having regard to Council Framework Decision 2008/841/JHA on the fight against organised crime[5],

–       having regard to the Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions of 18 September 2014,

–       having regard to the Commission proposal of 2 March 2015 for a Council Decision on the signing, on behalf of the European Union, of the Council of Europe Convention on the manipulation of sports competitions with regard to matters not related to substantive criminal law and judicial cooperation in criminal matters (COM(2015)0084),

–       having regard to the statement by Commissioner Navracsics of 3 June 2015 following the resignation of the FIFA President,

–       having regard to the new sport programme under Erasmus+, one of the objectives of which is to tackle cross-border threats to the integrity of sport, such as doping, match-fixing and violence, together with all forms of intolerance and discrimination, and to promote and support good governance in sport,

–       having regard to the Resolution of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, of 21 May 2014 on the European Union Work Plan for Sport (2014-2017)[6],

–       having regard to the ‘Stockholm Programme – An open and secure Europe serving and protecting citizens’,

–       having regard to the agreement on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering and terrorist financing (Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive) (COM(2013)0045),

–       having regard to the Financial Action Task Force’s Recommendations on Money Laundering,

–       having regard to the resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe of 23 April 2015 on the reform of football governance,

–       having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.     whereas on 27 May 2015 the US Department of Justice, working with the Swiss Government, indicted nine high-ranking FIFA officials and five sports marketing organisation executives for racketeering, money laundering conspiracy, corruption and fraud;

B.     whereas the defendants charged in the indictment are considered to be involved in a 24-year scheme designed to enrich themselves through the corruption of international soccer;

C.     whereas the indicted sports marketing executives have allegedly paid and agreed to pay well over EUR 150 million in bribes and kickbacks to obtain lucrative media and marketing rights to international soccer tournaments, shutting out competitors and creating an uneven playing field for the relevant stakeholders;

D.     whereas the overall investigation furthermore highlighted that rampant, systematic and deep-routed corruption has spanned two generations of soccer officials who have abused their position of trust in order to acquire millions of dollars;

E.     whereas on 2 June 2015 FIFA President Joseph Blatter announced his resignation, while the investigation into alleged financial crimes related to further high-level FIFA officials is ongoing, despite having been elected FIFA President for a fifth term during the FIFA Congress of 29 May 2015;

F.     whereas FIFA and its six continental confederations, together with national and regional affiliated and member associations and federations, constitute an enterprise of legal entities whose main purpose is to regulate and promote soccer worldwide;

G.     whereas Article 2 of the FIFA Statutes establishes that the objectives of FIFA include the following: ‘to promote integrity, ethics and fair play with a view to preventing all methods or practices, such as corruption, doping or match manipulation, which might jeopardise the integrity of matches, competitions, Players, Officials and Members or give rise to abuse of Association Football’;

H.     whereas according to the 2014 FIFA financial report, 70 % of its USD 5.7 billion in total revenues between 2011 and 2014 was attributable to the sale of TV and marketing rights to the 2014 World Cup;

I.      whereas on 23 April 2015 the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) had already argued that the decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar was so radically flawed by illegal payments that FIFA should hold a new vote under cleaned-up procedures;

J.      whereas all sports organisations and federations must ensure the effective promotion, safeguarding and protection of fundamental rights, as enshrined in international law and human rights law;

K.     whereas sports organisations bear the responsibility for detecting and sanctioning malpractices and breaches of internal rules committed by persons under their authority;

L.     whereas in addition to corruption cases, a large number of Member States have been affected by match-fixing and other financial crimes often related to criminal organisations operating on an international scale;

M.    whereas corruption and money laundering are intrinsically linked;

N.     whereas players’ unions point out that these criminal activities are also a problem in terms of potential intimidation and blackmailing of players;

O.     whereas sport holds relevant educational and social values and good governance of sports organisations is fundamental in order to promote democratic principles in our societies;

1.      Reiterates that corruption represents a serious violation of fundamental rights and a threat to democracy and the rule of law; stresses that commercial corruption poses a threat to the integrity of the anti-money laundering system, especially at the placement stage of the money laundering cycle;

2.      Strongly condemns any form of corruption and other malpractices in soccer, and sport in general; calls for all sports organisations to adopt a zero-tolerance policy in this regard;

3.      Requests that all governance of sports organisations should be grounded on the highest respect for democracy, transparency, ethics, financial fair play, legality and human rights;

4.      Calls for full transparency in decision-making processes, as secrecy mechanisms adopted in sports organisations may foster corruption and financial misappropriations;

5.      Underlines the importance of the adequate involvement of relevant stakeholders, including civil society organisations, in the decision-making process of sports organisations;

6.      Believes that the ethics and judicial committees of sports organisations must be fully independent so as to effectively support all efforts to ensure the integrity, credibility and accountability of the overall internal governance;

7.      Expresses concern about flaws in sports organisation mechanisms for preventing and sanctioning all breaches of sports ethics;

8.      Is deeply convinced that FIFA needs to undergo a broad structural reform process, including a modification of its statutes, structure, codes and operational policies and practices, with a view to strengthening its integrity, democracy and transparency;

9.      Strongly believes that the FIFA Code of Ethics must be modified in such a way as to ensure that all allegations of severe violations are investigated and that proportional and adequate sanctions are applied when such violations are established;

10.    Urges all sports organisations to establish an effective regulatory framework to both facilitate and protect whistle-blowers;

11.    Stresses that any country bidding for the organisation of major sports events must fully comply with international human rights standards, including International Labour Organisation (ILO) standards;

12.    Strongly believes that in order to recover credibility and a higher level of ethics, soccer organisations should adopt a ceiling on soccer player market operations and on the salaries earned by both executive management and soccer players, while ensuring financial fair play and transparency;

13.    Calls on all sports organisations to introduce a two-mandate threshold in the discharge of the office of president and membership of the governing body and judicial body of the organisation;

14.    Urges sports organisations to adopt and improve education programmes setting up specific obligations for leagues and clubs, notably with regard to minors;

15.    Calls on the Member States and sports organisations to properly inform and educate sportspeople and citizens, starting from a young age, at all levels of sport, both professional and amateur, given that education is of remarkable importance in promoting integrity in sport;

16.    Calls on the Commission, the Council and the Member States to follow up on the recommendations of the Commission’s Anti-Corruption Report, improve the regulatory framework enhancing the fight against organised crime and strengthen police and judicial cooperation in fighting corruption, in particular through Europol, Eurojust and national law enforcement and judicial authorities;

17.    Calls for the Member States and the EU institutions to investigate and prosecute any possible indication of corruption by FIFA officials on EU territory;

18.    Calls on the Member States to enhance European law enforcement cooperation through joint investigation teams and cooperation between prosecution authorities; stresses the need for the introduction and effective enforcement of measures to combat illegal activities in sport and to guarantee the effective integrity of their governing organisations;

19.    Calls on the Commission to assess whether the recent agreement on EU legislation on money laundering is sufficient to tackle money laundering by EU-registered sports governing bodies and their officials, and whether any adjustment is needed in order to allow sufficient scrutiny of their bank accounts;

20.    Calls for the EU and the Member States to provide for measures to support and protect whistle-blowers who denounce illegal actions, crucial for anticipating corruption and its devastating effects;

21.    Calls on the Commission and the Member States to further actions on good governance within the EU Work Plan for Sport, fully involving national and regional associations and federations in working towards better governance at European and international level;

22.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), the national football associations, the Association of European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL), the European Club Association (ECA) and the International Federation of Professional Footballers (FIFPRO).