ZURICH, SWITZERLAND – The Swiss Supreme Court has just ruled against Fifa in the case of Brazilian footballer Matuzalem, Forbes is saying the International Olympic Committee (IOC) should be worried about Fifa, and the Zurich-based football group is about to publish the measures it envisages to fight corruption. Few would accuse Fifa, the world football federation, of leading a quiet life, but this is a particularly busy news week for the group.
Matuzalem was ordered to pay $15.8 million to his former club, Shakhtar Donetsk, and Fifa ruled that if he fell behind on his payments he would be banned from the sport. But the high court ruled that this was taking things too far. SI/AP notes that this is a rare victory in the five-year battle between the player and his former club. “A CAS (Lausanne-based sports arbitration court) panel ordered the eight-figure compensation after Matuzalem broke his Shakhtar contract in July 2007 to join Zaragoza, increasing the amount previously awarded by Fifa. That CAS decision in May 2009 was hailed as a victory for clubs and contractual stability against the growing trend of player power.”
Meanwhile, Forbes writes, all is not as smooth as it might be in Brazil, Matuzalem’s home, with the 2014 World Cup coming up. Fifa has been showing its muscle there, too, and, writes Forbes, it appears to be reminding the country that “Fifa ultimately calls the shots and when Brazil signed on for the event they agreed to a governance structure that makes the local organizing committee ‘subject to the supervision and control of Fifa, which has the last word on all matters relevant to the 2014 Fifa World Cup. The decisions of Fifa are final.'”
Fifa will be in sports headlines Friday with the long-awaited proposal on how Fifa corruption and reform, by a team led by Mark Pieth. The former UN investigator was hired by Fifa President Seth Blatter in November 2011 to draw up the proposals based on his research into Fifa’s past problems. AP reports that while Blatter appears to be backing the report, Pieth warns the proposals will be “tough” on Fifa.