The Scottish Football Association, founded in 1873, is the second oldest in world football after the Football Association which was founded 10 years earlier in England.

It was a founder member of the International FA Board in 1886, a position it still retains today.

Over its 138 year history it has evolved in many ways. Committees have been created here and there and been added on to the historical structure.

History and tradition have been major assets to Scotland but they have also brought problems since today many of the practices and procedures of the past are not relevant to the modern game.

The SFA took a major step forward yesterday when, at its Annual General Meeting, it approved changes which will affect Scottish football for years to come.

Following an independent review by Henry McLeish, a former First Minister in the Scottish Parliament and former professional footballer, major changes were proposed for the game in Scotland.

Not everyone agreed with every proposed change but the 93 clubs voted unanimously to accept the package of changes.

It will mean, among other things, that the disciplinary procedures will be changed, the Board will be reduced from 11 to 7, an independent Board member will be appointed and protection will be provided for referees.

Scottish football has realised that it must change and has responded to the challenge.

FIFA has had a bad few weeks.

When FIFA has a problem such as the financial accusations of the ISL collapse in 2001, the voting for the World Cups in 2006, 2018 and 2022 or the allegations of corruption among its senior officials, it forms a new committee.

True to tradition, after the allegations of corruption which surfaced at the recent FIFA Congress in Zurich, FIFA President Sepp Blatter has said that the solution is to form a Solutions Committee.

It has been suggested that two possible members of the new committee will be Henry Kissinger and Placido Domingo. Blatter loves to play the personality card but is in danger of become a figure of ridicule by appointing an 88 year old politician and a football fan who also happens to be one of the world’s great opera singers.

FIFA needs to review its governance, just as the Scottish FA did.

It must appoint a strong team of independent experts who will provide an honest and probably painful report.

But it won’t!

  • Share/Bookmark