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Wednesday, July 27, 2011
ECA chairman wants end to corruption

ESPNsoccernet staff

European Club Association (ECA) chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has called on clubs to revolt against FIFA corruption.

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Rummenigge, the chief executive officer at Bayern Munich, has been an outspoken critic of FIFA and said earlier this month that European clubs "are not happy with the governance of football". He has now gone a step further, calling on the 200 clubs in the ECA to demand change to an organisation he feels is tarnished by a "daily corruption process".

"Sepp Blatter is saying [that he's cleaning up shop] but the fact that no one believes him tells you everything you need to know," he 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 is a nice game but is decided by people who are corrupt. I am not ready to accept the system as it is and I am not alone. I am asking for transparency, balance and democracy in governing bodies like FIFA and UEFA. I don't accept any longer that we [should be] guided by people who are not serious and clean. Now is the moment to intervene, because knowing something is wrong is an obligation to change."

He added: "There are 200 clubs in this organisation and we are unhappy with the developments. Clubs are the root of all football, but no club is involved in the decision-making process at FIFA and UEFA. It's not just the top clubs - it's all the clubs."

Rummenigge is particularly unhappy that the governing bodies expect clubs - especially those in Europe - to give up increasing numbers of players for international friendlies and tournaments without recompense.

Rummenigge said European clubs provided 75% of the players for the 2010 World Cup and added: "Each club lost at least €10 million but we accepted it as a favour to the players, and now we find those dates have been given for international friendlies."

He added: "When I won the European Championship [with West Germany in 1980], there were eight teams in the finals. That figure will treble by 2016. In the World Cup, it used to be 16 teams, now it's 32. The clubs pay the players but are not part of the decision-making process. We are not treated respectfully."




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