Minsk to host EU Sports Press Congress

The Minsk Arena hosted the 2014 IIHF World Championship and the 2010 Junior Eurovision Song Contest

Minsk, the host of European Youth Olympic Festival 2019 (EYOF 2019), has been selected to host the congress of the European Union of Sports Press on 11-13 September, the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Belarus informed national news agency BeITA.

The gathering of European sports journalists coincides with the Race of Legends biathlon festival and Minsk International Marathon and will be an opportunity for Belarus to showcase its credentials for hosting major sports events. 

Delegates will be shown around the Minsk Arena and the National Olympic Centres in Ratomka and Raubichi.

A seminar at the NOC headquarters will include presentations about the European Youth Olympic Festival 2019 in Minsk and other sports events Belarus will host in 2015 and 2016, plus a forum to discuss mass radio broadcasting rights in Europe, the according to BeITA.

The seminar for mass media will be organised by the NOC of Belarus, the European Olympic Committees, the Sport and Tourism Ministry of Belarus and the Belarusian Association of Sports Press.

The Minsk won the hosting rights after the European Union of Sports Press wrote to the Belarusian Association of Sports Press proposing that Belarus city host the event. The proposal was backed by the Belarus NOC and approved by the European Olympic Committees.

The event forms part of the Olympic Solidarity programme, one of the IOC’s programmes of redistributing NOC’s shares of broadcasting rights from the Olympic Games. 

Attending as guests of honour will be President of the European Fair Play Movement Christian Hinterberger, Vice President of the European Taekwondo Union Igor Iuzefovici, Vice President of the European University Sports Association Leonz Eder.

The President of the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) Gianni Merlo (Italy), AIPS Europe President Yannis Daras (Greece), and AIPS Europe Secretary General Charles Camenzuli (Malta), heads and secretaries general of the national associations and observers and correspondents will attend.

Representatives from Austria, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Greece, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova, Serbia, Russia, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine, Finland, France, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Sweden are expected to attend.


Seb Coe: presidency gives IAAF chance to renew itself

Lord Coe (right) speaking at Securing Sport in October 2014

Sebastian Coe said the IAAF presidential election campaign, through which he received 115 (56 per cent) of the votes of 207 member federations, has created an opportunity for the organisation to renew itself.

Lord Coe will take up the presidency of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) at the close of the IAAF World Championships in Beijing on 31st August.

The second candidate, Sergey Bubka received 92 votes and was elected as vice president. 

“I’m very flattered, very, very honoured to have been elected president,” Coe said at a press conference after the election on Wednesday.

"You have a president that will devote himself full-time to the IAAF. It has been a long and hard campaign but it has given us the chance to pause for breath, the chance to review and renew itself," added Coe.

The presidential election comes at a time of great pressure for the organisation as it faces allegations of widespread doping within the sport. 

On 2 August, the Sunday Times and German broadcaster ARD reported that IAAF data leaked by a whistleblower showed that a third of medals won in endurance events from 2001 to 2012 were awarded to athletes who had recorded “suspicious” blood tests.

The IAAF dismissed the reports as “sensationalist and confusing”, pointing out that the results did not refer to positive tests, but the questions are still being raised of the federation, with the Sunday Times alleging on 16th August that the IAAF blocked publication of the data.

As an Olympic medallist and former chairman of London 2012 and vice president of the IAAF, Sebastian Coe brings a wealth of experience to the organisation’s leadership. 

"We have a man who has devoted his life to the sport," said outgoing president Lamine Diack, who has held the presidency since 1999.

Coe paid tribute to Diack, saying "Lamine has left us with an extraordinarily strong foundation and one aspect of that foundation is that we are a truly global sport. I will do my best to continue from those firm foundations

"In 2001 and 2002, I sought the advice of Lamine Diack about playing a greater role in the sport and in 2003 I became a Council member. In 2007 I sought his advice again before I became a Vice President.

"It has been an apprenticeship that has helped me understand greater the balances and nuances within the sport.

"I want to thank the (member) federations but I also want to thank those that cover and broadcast our sport. We tend to forget that the media is most potent sponsor of our sport; and I will maintain my chairmanship of the media committee.”

A number of new members were elected to the IAAF Council, including European representatives Jose Maria Odriozola (ESP), Bernard Amsalem (FRA), Sylvia Barlag (NED), Mikhail Butov (RUS), Antti Pihlakoski (FIN), and Anna Riccardi (ITA).

“This has been a good day for European athletics,” said Svein Arne Hansen, president of European Athletics. 

“I am very pleased for all the European representatives elected to the IAAF Council. I call on them to work hard and cooperate with the members from the rest of the world for the good of our sport. 

“There are a lot of urgent issues to address over the coming years, including the integrity of the sport, our competition programme and development.”


Formula E and DHL’s green transport drive

Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag, centre left, with team at the opening of the headquarters in Donington Park

Launching a new international event is not easy, especially when you are trying to reduce environmental impact while transporting materials all over the world.

“When we launched the championship we had many, many different challenges. We didn’t have any cars or any cities to race in,” Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag told HOST CITY at London’s Battersea Park at the close of the event’s first season.

“One of the most immediate ones was how we were going to take everything around the world to different venues.”

Formula E was about to put the logistics for the event out to tender when DHL stepped forward. “DHL said don’t do a bidding process, we want to be your partners; we really like the idea which fits very well with our ‘go green’ concept.”

Sabrina Asendorf, DHL’s Head of Sponsorship for Formula 1 & Formula E told HOST CITY “We joined Formula E in 2013, more or less exactly one year before their first race in Beijing took place in September 2014. 

“We pretty much bought into a concept that we felt was the right idea and vision at the right time with the right bunch of people. This was a very unique situation, to get involved as a major partner at such an early stage.”

Any rights holder would be pleased to have a major sponsor on board so early in an event’s development. “Of course DHL for us was an amazing partner to have – so we very quickly reached a positive agreement,” said Agag. “We especially liked the approach DHL had to minimise the carbon footprint of logistics.

“Any activity pollutes, and carrying all this equipment around the world does pollute, but there are ways of doing it that pollute less than others. I think really what we liked about the approach DHL was that they had a strategy in mind to minimise the carbon footprint of all the transportation of all the logistical operation of the Formula E Championship.”

The global transportation sector, of which logistics is a part, contributes 23 per cent to greenhouse gas emissions. “With that global footprint, we want to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem,” Asendorf said.

DHL was the first international logistics provider to set a measurable carbon efficiency target, to reduce carbon emissions in its operations by 30 per cent by 2020 compared to 2007. The company is making good progress in terms of achieving that target, according to Asendorf.

DHL also operates one of the largest fleets of trucks in the world and is looking into reducing its environmental impact. 

“One of the technologies that we are piloting is electric mobility. This is where we thought Formula E is an interesting concept to support. We see a lot of strong potential for using electric vehicles in the delivery of shipments to the receiver, especially in inner city venues.”

Formula E is forming an alliance of stakeholders from various backgrounds to speed up the development of electric mobility technology.

“This resonated very well with our own targets and objectives in the area of sustainability and got us very excited about Formula E right from the start,” said Asendorf. “We want to make a positive contribution to the quality of life on our planet.” 

From a point of view of fulfilling logistical requirements, the partnership has been a great success. “For us it has been fantastic because it really has been on time, everywhere – and it wasn’t easy, because we had a problem that no one else has,” said Agag.

“We transport lithium ion batteries, which are very heavily restricted – especially in air transportation.”

In 2013, when Formula E was still in development, a new aeroplane – the Boeing 787 Dreamliner – had safety problems linked to batteries catching fire, which led to increased restrictions on flying batteries. 

“It’s been challenging to transport all this equipment around the world, but DHL has been amazing.”

Around 200 tonnes must be transported from one Formula E host city to the next in 10 to 15 containers. 

Battersea Park was the end of the road for the 2014/2015 season, after which all the materials for the race are stored at Formula E’s headquarters, a four-hour drive away at Donington Park. 

“We are really happy to be in Battersea. It was the best choice for us because there has not been one single traffic jam caused by the Formula E race,” said Agag.

“To be in the heart of London and not have an impact on traffic is a major achievement for us.” 

Other circuits presented bigger challenges. DHL’s Motorsport Deputy Managing Director Pierre Luiji Ferrari told HOST CITY “Miami was one of the most difficult, because we are really close to the city. I am sure the residents were not so happy, but it’s just for 24 hours.”

In Moscow, the circuit runs very close to Red Square, requiring roads to be blocked. Formula E is involved in designing the circuits but the ultimate decision is that of the city and transport authorities. 

At the FIA World Motor Sport Council in July, Miami dropped from the Formula E calendar for the 2015/2016 season. Paris was added to the circuit, with the other cities confirmed as Putrajaya (Malaysia), Punta del Este (Uruguay), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Long Beach (USA), Berlin (Germany), Moscow (Russia) and London (UK). The host of one race on 16 March 2016 remains unconfirmed, with Mexico City said to be the most likely candidate. 

Looking further ahead, Formula E plans to introduce new host cities to the championship. 

“We are looking at another race in Asia – and we would like to race in the Middle East,” Agag said. “And we are looking at a race in Switzerland because there is a change in law which means we can race there.”

Cities around the world are expressing an interest in hosting Formula E. 

“We have probably over 200 cities that have asked. When you tell them what you have to do, what it’s going to cost you, the implications and so on – then it filters down. There are some cities that really want it and others that are just asking to see how it works. 

“Realistically we will add five or six new more races in three of four years.

“We’ve been in discussions with DHL to figure out the logistics; we want to reduce the carbon footprint of the championship and we want to go to new locations.”

Ferrari summed up the appeal of hosting Formula E. “A lot of cities apparently want to have the race because it’s attractive. It’s downtown; it’s zero pollution, no noise – it’s easy to receive in a city.”

And as for how many races DHL could cope with, doubling in size is logistically feasible. “We can do it, no problem. Until you reach 34 it’s possible – after that we have to start considering complications.”


Lisbon to host ITTF Star Awards

The 2014 ITTF Star Awards took place in Dubai

Lisbon’s historic Patio de Gale has been selected to host the third edition of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Star Awards on 9 December 2015. 

The 2015 ITTF Star Awards, which will recognize and celebrate table tennis star players and coaches, will be held immediately before ITTF World Tour Grand Finals, sponsored by GAC Group.

"The ITTF Star Awards has grown into a yearly event with great stature and an important date on the calendar for all of the world's top table tennis players,” said Steve Dainton, ITTF Marketing Director. 

“This year, we head to the beautiful city of Lisbon, in conjunction with the World Tour Grand Finals, to recognize the Stars of our sport for what will be a classical and elegant evening."

Interest in the sport is high in Portugal, with the national team having won gold medals at the TMS 2014 European Team Table Tennis Championships in Lisbon and the 2015 European Games in Baku.

Eight ITTF Star Awards will be handed out in Lisbon, with the ITTF Star Breakthrough being a new award for 2015, in addition to awards for: Male Table Tennis Star; Female Table Tennis Star (presented by Nittaku); Para Male Table Tennis Star (presented by Tinsue); Para Female Table Tennis Star (presented by Stag International); Table Tennis Star Point (presented by DHS); Table Tennis Star Coach (presented by Butterfly); Table Tennis Breakthrough Star; and Fair Play Star.


Zimbabwe ready to host UNESCO engineering event

Anne Wangari Kirima-Muchoki, Chairperson, Kenya Investment Authority at an IGU-UNESCO Workshop on Women in Engineering (Photo: UNESCO/P. Chiang-Joo)

Zimbabwe is making good progress as it prepares to host UNESCO Africa Engineering Week from 14 to 19 September, according to a senior World Federation of Engineering Organisations official. 

World Federation of Engineering Organisations vice president Yashin Brijmohan met with a number of stakeholders, including the Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers, Engineering Council of Zimbabwe, UNESCO and government officials. 

"I'm quite pleased with the progress made so far," he told national newspaper The Herald.

"I believe in Zimbabwe and the country has shown a lot of potential in terms of hosting conferences of this nature.

"Zimbabwe is ready to host the event and I believe the local team will work hard to make this event a success."

Victoria Falls, the country’s leading resort, won the bid to host the second edition of the international event.

According to UNESCO, Africa Engineering Week aims to educate youth and the general public about engineering through outreach activities such as educational workshops, public awareness events, mentoring activities and university events that show how engineers are key players in the solutions to important global challenges, such as climate change mitigation and adaptation.

A conference on the theme of "Engineering Innovation for Accelerated Infrastructure Development for Africa", which aims to raise the profile of the profession, is expected to attract more than 500 delegates from outside the host nation. 

"Preparations are going on very well even though a lot of work needs to be done to promote the event," Eng Martin Manhuwa, president of the Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers told The Herald.


Live Nation achieves double digit growth

Live Nation has continued growing in the second quarter and for the first half, with revenue up 12 per cent and AOI (adjusted operating income) up 6 per cent on a constant currency basis in the second quarter.  The increase in revenue was led by our concerts business as we continued attracting more fans to more shows globally, which in turn drove AOI growth in our advertising and ticketing businesses through the first half of the year.

With the majority of our tickets sold for the year, we are confident that we remain on track to deliver our 2015 plan, and all key leading indicators reinforce our expectation of continued top- and bottom-line growth as we build global market share in our core concerts, advertising and ticketing businesses.

We have built the industry's most scalable and unparalleled live platform, bringing 450 million fans in 40 countries to that magical two-hour event each year.  Concerts are the flywheel for our high-margin on-site, advertising and ticketing businesses and this year we expect to deliver record operating results, increasing the revenue and profitability of each of these businesses.


Concerts Continuing To Build Global Platform

Starting with the concerts business, we have now sold approximately 75 per cent of our projected tickets for the year, and through July we are pacing 7 per cent ahead of last year's ticket sales; this is our top leading indicator that we will increase concert attendance again this year.  We continue to be the world's leading promoter with about three-quarters of the top 25 global tours, including U2, Imagine Dragons, Lady Antebellum and One Direction.  Along with attendance growth, we have also grown per-fan on-site revenue this year by 18 per cent to over US$20 per fan in our amphitheaters and festivals as our sales initiatives, particularly those focused on the high-end fans, pay off.

The strength of our global platform continues to deliver growth as we have increased year-on-year attendance.  In the second quarter over a million more fans attended our shows, also spending money at the concert, paying service fees on tickets and providing advertisers with an engaged audience.  For the full year we expect to grow our fan base by over two million, which on its own would be one of the top five promoters in the world, as we build our audience across our global portfolio, including arenas, festivals, amphitheaters, and theaters and clubs.

At the same time, we continue building our global platform for the future, most recently adding Marek Lieberberg to establish our concerts business in Germany.  Germany is one of the top three concert markets in the world and Marek has a history of promoting more than 700 shows for over two million fans each year.  Adding these shows to Live Nation can make us the top promoter inGermany, and moving these two million tickets to the Ticketmaster platform will substantially increase our scale and market position in ticketing in Germany.  With this move, Live Nation now has a promoting presence in all the major Western European markets, and along with our presence now in nine Asian markets, we are the only promoter able to provide global and regional touring support at scale for artists.

Our artist managers continue to provide a strong pipeline of shows to our concerts business aligned with this growth.


Sponsorship & Advertising Delivering Accelerated Growth

In the sponsorship & advertising business, we have delivered strong growth through the first half, with both revenue and AOI up over 20 per cent on a constant currency basis.

Our key leading indicator for advertising, contracted net revenue, is up 19 per cent on a constant currency basis as of the end of the second quarter and we have sold over 80 per cent of our planned sponsorship & advertising for the year.  This now gives us confidence that our AOI growth rate in sponsorship & advertising for the year will be in the low teens, an acceleration from recent years.

Our online advertising continues to build rapidly, growing revenue by 36 per cent and AOI by over 30 per cent at constant currency for the first half.  We now have over 65 million unique monthly visitors to our sites and broader network, making Live Nation one of the top three online music networks.

On the content side, we have entered the second year of streaming live shows with Yahoo! Live, with an increased focus on festivals this year, including EDC in Las Vegas and the Wireless Festival in the UK so far, and Creamfields, Landmark and Voodoo to come.  Our Live Nation TV network with VICE Media is launching this month, and will provide music fans with the combination of Live Nation's access to 24,000 concerts and VICE's unique story-telling ability.

With the growth of our festival business we are also continuing to build our base of major advertising clients, increasing the number of companies that pay us over US$1 million a year by 15 per cent; now delivering a collective $200 million to Live Nation in 2015.

With all parts of our advertising business now performing and growing rapidly, we expect a record level of AOI growth in 2015, with continued strong runway.


Ticketmaster Marketplace Continues to Grow

Ticketmaster has continued building its global leadership as a ticket marketplace this year, with 7 per cent growth in site visits leading to a 10 per cent increase in combined primary and secondary Gross Transaction Value (GTV) at constant currency.

A key driver behind this growth in site visits and GTV has been our mobile first strategy, building our products for ease of use and viewing on mobile devices.  Mobile now consistently accounts for more than half of our traffic, both in North America and internationally, and year-to-date we have deployed 27 updates to our apps globally, as we are enhancing the fan experience.

As a result, we continue seeing growth in mobile ticket sales, up 21 per cent through the first half, and now accounting for 21 per cent of total ticket sales.  Our app install base continues to build as well, now at about 19 million, as more fans are seeing the benefits from improved search and ticket management functionality.

I am confident that 2015 will mark the true point of conversion of Ticketmaster to a technology company.  We have the right leadership and technology teams in place, building a marketplace and delivering products with great fan features, while also capturing cost savings for the business.  With all this, Ticketmaster has never been better positioned.


A year of growth

After growing the business in the first half of the year, we expect 2015 to be another year of growth and record results for the company, and we are confident that we will deliver the final year of our three-year plan.  Based on the strong position of our leading indicators in concerts, sponsorship & advertising, and ticketing, operationally we expect revenue and AOI growth in each of these businesses and overall for Live Nation this year.  And more fundamentally, we continue to see a wide set of both organic and acquisition opportunities to further grow each of our businesses beyond 2015, directly building on the success we have achieved to date.

Michael Rapino

President and Chief Executive Officer

Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. 


Diving set to stay in the Commonwealth Games

England's Tom Daly diving at Delhi 2010 (Photo: Glasgow 2014)

The Commonwealth Games Federation has proposed that diving, which was due to be removed from the Commonwealth Games sports programme, retain its place as an optional discipline for future events.

The proposed changes to the sports programme form part of the CGF’s “Transformation 2022” programme of renewal.

“Are we being inspiring and innovative in our decisions on the sports we have on the programme? Are we driving efficiency and effectiveness to the delivery of this event? Are we looking at affordability and appeal in getting those balances right? Those are the three elements we’re looking at in terms of driving our overall Games proposition to have more inspiring and innovative Games, so the sports on the programme are starting to reflect that,” CGF CEO David Grevemberg told HOST CITY on Wednesday.

In its first draft of Transformation 2022, the CGF proposed reducing the number of optional sports – including diving – from 20 to 10, while increasing the number of compulsory sports from 16 to 10.

The latest version, which has been circulated to the Commonwealth Games Associations in advance of the CGF General Assembly, retains diving as an optional discipline.

“The sports that are on the compulsory programme need to be Commonwealth sports – meaning they need to have the technical engagement, the developmental prioritisation, to promote and enhance their reputation through this partnership and this movement.

“That’s to make sure the compulsory sports programme reflects the Commonwealth’s greatest athletes but also has the commercial attractiveness across the structure. So we’ve given enough flexibility; we have a strong proposition within the compulsory programme.

“At the same time you’ve got these optional sports and disciplines. Track cycling is on the programme; it’s popular in the Commonwealth setting, but the cost and affordability of Velodrome and how widely and regularly practiced those sports are in the Commonwealth and to what level…

“In our last proposition we also included diving, and this will be voted on by the membership in about two and half weeks.”

Transformation 2022 that will be voted on by the CGF membership in Auckland on 1-2 September, when Durban is set to be confirmed as the host city of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

“There are really exciting debates, discussions and deliberations to go through, to make sure we are all aligned around moving that forward,” said Grevemberg.

David Grevemberg is to speak at HOST CITY 2015 in Glasgow 9-10 November on the session: How Cities and Events Innovate to Thrive. 

Glasgow to host 2015 Davis Cup semi-final

The Emirates Arena was built for the 2014 Commonwealth Games and hosts regular events

Glasgow’s Emirates Arena is to host the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group semifinal between Great Britain and Australia on 18 – 20 September, the Lawn Tennis Association announced on Tuesday. 

“We are delighted that Glasgow has been selected to host the Aegon GB Davis Cup Team once again for the semi-final against Australia in September,” said Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events. 

“Scotland is the perfect stage for events and we are certain that fans from all across the country will turn out in force to show their support at the Emirates Arena.”

Andy Murray, who won both of his singles matches against USA at the Emirates Arena in March, said “It’s exciting for the team to be going back to Glasgow. It’s always special to play in front of a home crowd and we are fortunate to have played our last three ties at home.

“We had a unique atmosphere in Glasgow, the crowd was unbelievable.  It’s going to be a huge week for our team and we’ll be doing everything we can to get GB through to the final."

The indoor arena in Glasgow’s East End was built to host badminton events at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and now hosts basketball on a regular basis. It will have its capacity extended to 8,200 and a hard court laid down for the Davis Cup event.

The Great Britain vs. Australia semi-final coincides with the meeting between Belgium and Argentina at Forest National in Belgium. 

The winner of the semi-final in Glasgow will either travel to Belgium or welcome Argentina for the final in November.

UNICEF CGF partnership makes Samoa Youth Games even more inclusive

Just Play is an Oceania Football Confederation programme developed with UNICEF

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) is working with the Commonwealth Secretariat and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to deliver a dynamic and inclusive programme of athlete and public engagement activities at the upcoming Samoa 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games, the CGF announced on UN International Youth Day on Wednesday.

The new initiatives will help fulfil the Games’ ambition to celebrate high-performance sporting competition, personal development and new Commonwealth friendships made on the level playing field of sport.

“We’re thrilled to be joining forces with the Commonwealth Secretariat and UNICEF to enable innovative projects at this year’s Commonwealth Youth Games which will engage, inspire and support our young Commonwealth athletes and young Pacific Island hosts,” said CGF Chief Executive David Grevemberg. 

“In line with our strategic ambitions, we hope the programme will have a lasting impact, recognising our young Commonwealth citizens as essential to achieving sustainable human development.”

Workshops for young athletes will take place each day throughout the Games, delivered by representatives from the Commonwealth Youth Sport for Development and Peace (CYDSP) working group, a network of young sport and development leaders from across the Commonwealth.

“The opportunity for participants at the Games to learn more about how sport can be used as a tool for development is another example of the important role the Games movement can play in promoting the Commonwealth and our shared values,” said Oliver Dudfield, Head of Sport for Development and Peace at the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Alongside the workshops, Just Play fan zones be set up for young locals, visitors, athletes and officials to participate in interactive games and activities.

Just Play, an Oceania Football Confederation programme, is developed in partnership with UNICEF, the Australian and New Zealand governments, the UEFA Foundation for Children and the Football Federation of Australia.

“Sport is a powerful development tool to engage children and young people across the world,” said Dr. Karen Allen, UNICEF Pacific representative. 

“Within the Pacific, since the programme’s inception in 2009, Just Play has attracted more than 200,000 girls and boys to engage in physical activity and learn healthy lifestyle habits and self-confidence. The

programme also encourages gender equality, promotes social inclusion and reduces anxiety after natural disasters.”.

The Commonwealth Youth Games will bring together up to 1000 young athletes aged 14-18, who will represent their country and compete for 107 Gold medals in 9 sports on the island nation of Samoa from 5-11 September 2015.


Former IOC DG to lead FIFA reform

FIFA has appointed Dr François Carrard, former IOC director general and coordinator of the IOC 2000 Reform Commission to chair its 2016 Reform Committee. 

As an independent chairman, Carrard will oversee FIFA’s process of reform that has been initiated in response to investigations into corruption. 

As Director General of the International Olympic Committee, Dr Carrard guided the IOC through its own governance reforms in the wake of the bidding process for the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002. An internationally renowned Swiss lawyer, Dr Carrard brings specific experience of the challenges faced by global sports organisations such as FIFA.

 “It is vital for the future of global football to restore the integrity and reputation of its governing body,” Carrard said.

“As the independent chairman, I am committed to delivering the necessary package of credible reforms, working with representatives from within football and wider society. To that end, I will establish an independent advisory board, made up of representatives from outside football, to support the work of the committee and provide an additional layer of independent expertise.”

Carrard was appointed after consultation with the six football confederations, each of which have appointed two representatives to the 2016 FIFA Reform Committee.

FIFA President Blatter said: “We believe Dr Carrard is the right person to drive this reform process forward as an independent chairman with a proven track record in governance reforms. We are confident that he can help FIFA to strengthen its governance structures in a credible and meaningful way. FIFA’s commercial partners will also play a key role in the reforms, and we will be discussing with them the most productive way to include their views.”

The 2016 Reform Committee will present its comprehensive proposals to the FIFA Congress in February.