The Ad-hoc Electoral Committee, established to oversee the election process for the office of the FIFA President, appointed Domenico Scala as its chairman. Such a committee has been set up for the first time as part of the Electoral Regulations for the FIFA Presidency, which are designed to ensure transparency and fairness in the election process as well as respect for basic and fundamental democratic principles.
Scala, who is also the independent Chairman of the FIFA Audit & Compliance Committee, spoke with FIFA.com about how the elections will work.
FIFA.com: Mr. Scala, as the chairman of the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee, what is the role of this committee in the presidential elections? Domenico Scala: Broadly speaking, the role of the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee is to supervise the FIFA presidential electoral process. This includes ensuring the correct application of and compliance with all FIFA regulatory provisions on matters relating to the electoral process, issuing instructions on the application of the regulations before and during the entire process, admitting and declaring candidatures, and instructing the investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee to carry out an integrity check of all candidates. Furthermore, the comprehensive electoral regulations that have been developed for the first time give a proper framework for the FIFA presidential campaign. They are publicly available on FIFA’s website.
Who forms this ad-hoc committee? The ad-hoc committee was formally established in the last few weeks and its composition is in accordance with article 7.2 of the electoral regulations. It consists of the chairman of the Appeal Committee Larry Mussenden, the chairman of the Disciplinary Committee Claudio Sulser, and me as the chairman of the Audit and Compliance Committee. It was decided in the first meeting that I should chair this ad-hoc committee.
How will the election process work and what are the steps between now and the Congress? The FIFA Statutes set the deadline for candidates to be proposed by member associations at four months before the start of the Congress. For the upcoming FIFA presidential elections, this date is 29 January 2015. In order to be eligible, a candidate has to have played an active role in association football for two of the five years preceding his proposed candidature and present declarations of support from at least five member associations. All submissions must be made to the FIFA secretariat, which will forward them to the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee for examination and for a decision to be made on the admission of the candidate to the FIFA presidential elections.
Are there any restrictions on what the candidates can do during the election period? While candidates who hold positions within association football are permitted to remain in office during their election campaign, there are indeed certain aspects to be considered. All candidates are bound by the FIFA Code of Ethics and may be subject to investigations in cases of irregularities. Candidates must avoid conflicts of interest, in particular in the context of campaign funding. Furthermore, campaign activities by candidates holding official positions must not be mixed with activities carried out under the current office of the candidates concerned.