Rummenigge: Clubs must take action

Bayern Munich chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge believes it is up to clubs to force reform upon world football governing body FIFA.Rummenigge, a decorated former Bayern and Germany striker, is the acting chairman of the European Club Association (ECA).

Speaking on Tuesday, the 55-year-old added his voice to the calls demanding change at FIFA.

He bemoaned the “daily corruption process at FIFA” and called on the organisation “to recognise that it’s time for democracy, transparency and the right balance in the football family.”

“I don’t accept any longer that we (should be) guided by people who are not serious and clean,” Rummenigge said.

“Now is the moment to intervene. Because knowing something is wrong is an obligation to change.”

FIFA have come under-fire over the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, followed by a succession of internal corruption scandals involving senior executives.

Sepp Blatter, president of the Swiss-based organisation, has promised to instigate reforms, but Rummenigge has grave doubts about the capacity of FIFA to change of its own accord.

“Sepp Blatter is saying (that he is attempting to reform) but the fact that no one believes him tells you everything you need to know,” Rummenigge said.

“I’m not optimistic because they believe the system is working perfectly as it is.”

“It’s a money machine, World Cup after World Cup. And for them, that’s more important than serious and clean governance.”

It had been suggested some national football associations might press for FIFA reforms following the contentious World Cup bid decision, something Rummenigge does not consider likely.

“I don’t believe (that the associations will get involved). The current system is tailor-made for the associations and voted for by the associations.”

“They won’t go against (FIFA).”

Rummenigge also said that to have the clubs represented on the FIFA executive committee was not enough, calling for other parties to also have their say.

“I would go further,” he said.

“All stakeholders – clubs, associations, players, referees, and women’s football – have a right to be involved in the decision-making process.”