Dear Prime Minister,
The recent events at FIFA have sickened and angered everyone who cares about football in this country and overseas. I hope you will agree that Britain cannot stand idly by, but should do everything possible to make sure that there is swift reform and that you will also agree that all those engaged in corrupting international sport are properly punished.
I am writing to urge you as a matter of urgency to bring together all the British sponsors of FIFA and the World Cup, all the UK broadcasters and the Football Associations of the Home Nations in order to establish a common position. If no substantial change is forthcoming at FIFA, serious consideration should be given to the option of UEFA withdrawing from FIFA and coordinating alternative competitions.
In addition the UK prosecuting authorities need to be fully engaged. The whole country was outraged with Sepp Blatter’s re-election on Friday. For too long, he has presided over an organisation that has become infamous for corruption, patronage, and bribery. FIFA is not fit for purpose. It needs fundamental and urgent reform, which Mr Blatter cannot deliver. It is completely inappropriate for him to be President while so many aspects of FIFA are under investigation – including his own election in 2011.
I’m disappointed that after the pioneering investigative reporting of the Sunday Times and Panorama it has been left to the US and Swiss to start prosecutions. So, can you confirm whether the Financial Conduct Authority and Serious Fraud Office are investigating whether bribery took place on British soil, used British financial institutions or involved British sponsors or broadcasters? If they are investigating corruption at FIFA, do they have the resources they need to prosecute their investigations vigorously and swiftly? If they are not investigating, why not?
We cannot just be commentators or spectators, shouting at the TV or complaining from the side lines. We must be on the pitch itself, putting pressure on Blatter and FIFA. I await your reply.
Given the public interest in this issue I will be releasing this letter to the media.
Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport