FA happy with FIFA changes one year on

English FA Chairman David Bernstein, who called for last year's FIFA presidential election to be called off in the wake of a bribery scandal, said on Friday he was very impressed with the changes underway within world football's governing body.

Since last year's near-meltdown when FIFA was besmirched by one scandal after another, president Sepp Blatter has instigated a number of far-reaching reforms with some adopted at Congress on Friday and the rest due to be implemented at next year's gathering in Mauritius.

Bernstein told last year's Congress in Zurich that the election should be halted, provoking a torrent of angry comments from senior FIFA executives and delegates, but his mood was markedly different at the end of this year's event in Budapest.

"I was very impressed today. A range of very responsible people and serious people are now on board and it is obvious that President Blatter, the executive committee and the organisation are taking this very seriously," he told reporters.

"I think the FA should take a little of the credit for helping to push this a year ago - we probably injected a little urgency into the situation.

"There is still much work to be done, but I think it was all so traumatic for FIFA last year and previously, but they have now seen the light and that is what is coming through.

"I think today is a moment in time where there is real evidence of change and we want this to continue to next year's Congress."

Almost every one of FIFA's institutions is being examined including the important law-making body, the International Football Association Board (IFAB), which was formed by the British associations in 1886 - 18 years before FIFA started and has involved the four British associations and FIFA for over 100 years.

Bernstein accepted that even that body could change and that the automatic British vice-presidency on the executive committee is also likely to disappear.

But he is happy for the changes to take place, especially if the home nations still play a key role in IFAB.

"We can't say everything should change except the things that affect us," he said.

"IFAB has a great history over 100 years and does a great job. Having said that, with a room of 209 nations here, there could be room for a little more democracy and a little more representation within it. We accept that.

"I was pleased to see they are looking for self-reform based around the existing structure."


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