FIFA’s normalisation committees – what are they and how do they work?
This article was last updated on 10 November 2020 (originally published October 2018).
Whilst FIFA has been a topic of discussion over recent years for a variety of reasons, FIFA’s powers to intervene in its member associations’ governance receives little attention. Such powers are exercised by imposing “normalisation committees” on member associations that FIFA determines are not complying with the FIFA Statutes (the “Statutes”).
Out of FIFA’s 211 members, a significant number of associations have recent or current experience of normalisation committee intervention – Kuwait, Guinea, Guatemala, Greece, Argentina, Thailand, Mali and Benin to name a few. Since the date on which this article was first published, normalisation committees have been established in Madagascar, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Comoros, Iraq, Pakistan, Venezuela, Namibia and Trinidad and Tobago, with the latter the focus of much media attention in the past few months.
The mandate of the PFF Normalisation Committee (Pakistan Football Federation) has been extended until the end of 2020, having been due to expire on 15 June 2020, by which point it is expected that the PFF will have successfully held the PFF elections. One of the reasons given for this was the general disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in Pakistan.
In light of this, this article analyses the role of FIFA’s normalisation committees. Specifically, it looks at:
- When FIFA is entitled to intervene
- Circumstances in which FIFA has intervened
- How normalisation committees are constituted
- The scope of their powers
- What happens if there are disputes, including a case study on the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association
- Key examples of normalisation committees
- Comparisons with other sports
- Legitimacy of FIFA’s interventions
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Hannah is an Associate in the Commercial Dispute Resolution team at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP where she specialises in sport, media and general commercial disputes, and has completed a secondment to The FA. She acts for a range of clients, including individuals, large corporates and national governing bodies, and has advised clients involved in a number of different sports.