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Good governance in sport

Thursday 8 May 2014 | Published in Letters to the Editor

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Good governance in sport

Dear Editor, So now that we have a new CIFA Executive installed, it’s time for the back patting to stop.

It’s time for the little people to see some early evidence that significant and substantive change can be expected, to improve the operation and performance of this organisation.

There is near to a million dollars passing through CIFA’s books annually and little to show for it on the field. In fact football in this country has seriously declined from a peak in year 2000, to the worst position it has ever been placed in FIFA world rankings.

The CIFA Executive has no reason not to know what organisational, operational and performance audits are, now that one of their own has some expertise in that field. They need to be aware that Oceania Football has in the past offered to conduct audits of its member associations, but the opportunity has not been taken up by CIFA. Why is this? Is there reason for its state of health to be kept hidden? A thorough and independent review of this organisation is exactly what needs to happen now and no excuses for delay. Audit reports must be made available in their entirety to all CIFA stakeholders, i.e. all of the football clubs.

The current structure, processes and systems of CIFA are old and tired, and no longer adequately serve the needs of stakeholders. To me, this can be attributed to long-term leadership deficiencies and a clear unwillingness to change.

What exactly are the organisation’s current objectives and strategies? Is this level of detail being shared with the grassroots? I think not, and don’t tell me that the little people don’t care. Pillars of good governance are participation, transparency and accountability.

My gravest concern is that CIFA has never done anything to put the football clubs in the Cook Islands on a constitutional basis, with consistent rules and regulations. CIFA must provide the clubs with the direction and tools necessary to achieve this.

The way things stand at the moment, anyone can be roped in to club meetings and vote on such important matters as election of club officials. This creates opportunity for manipulation of the voting process and is unacceptable in a modern day sporting code.

Some examples of questionable behaviours at club meetings would be counting the votes of children attending, one family orchestrating a mass attendance to achieve a particular voting outcome, not announcing the number of votes received by individual candidates in any ballot (thus preventing record in the minutes).

I want to know what CIFA’s timetable is to put this mess right.

The Integrity Police

(Name and address supplied)