In his address to the Finland Football Association (SPL-FBF) Congress over the weekend, Olli Rehn, who was confirmed recently to lead the FIFA COVID-19 Relief Plan steering committee, outlined FIFA’s response to the pandemic and stressed the major reforms implemented by the organisation in the field of financial management, ethics and good governance.
Rehn has an extensive career in Finland and at EU level with a focus on economic policy and governance. He is currently the Governor of the Bank of Finland, a member of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank as well as a former Vice-President of the European Commission, and since 2017 he has been independent deputy chairman of the FIFA Governance Committee.
From his position on the FIFA Governance Committee, Olli Rehn has been following closely the reforms undertaken by the organisation in the last years. “FIFA has come a long way since the serious corruption crisis in 2015, which was the culmination of years or probably decades of problems. Over the last few years, under the leadership of President Gianni Infantino, the first and foremost focus of FIFA has been on the reform of the Federation according to ethically sustainable rules and good governance. As the deputy chairman of the FIFA Governance Committee since 2017, I have been witnessing the progress of the reforms. And also influencing them where I am able to, of course.”
“Also, the inspection and control of the funds for developing football has been lifted to a proper, professional level. This may increase administrative work in member associations, but it is essential in order to make sure that the funds are really used for the right purpose, which is developing football. FIFA today is a very different organisation compared to that of five years ago and there is no longer any basis or grounds for loose accusations,” he added.