Sepp Blatter adviser accused of watering down report into Fifa reform

The Fifa chairman appointed Mark Pieth to chair an independent report in 2011

The split between Uefa and Fifa president Sepp Blatter has widened after reports the world governing body watered down a report into reform proposals.

German magazine Der Spiegel has reported that criticism of Blatter by independent governance committee chairman Mark Pieth was removed from his final report by Fifa's legal adviser Marco Villiger.

The report has led Pedro Pinto, spokesman for Uefa president Michel Platini, to issue a statement criticising the interference.

He said: “The latest revelations regarding the Pieth report show that Fifa’s independent governance committee was anything but independent.


“Uefa has always wondered why it was criticised by Mr Pieth and wrongly accused of blocking Fifa reforms. Now we understand why and where it all came from.”

Blatter is being challenged by three Uefa-backed candidates for the election in May, Dutchman Michael van Praag, Portugal's former international Luis Figo and Fifa's Asian vice-president, Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan.

Der Spiegel claim that passages in Pieth's final report were changed to remove comments about Blatter's role in the ISL corruption scandal where former Fifa president Joao Havelange and several other senior Fifa figures were revealed to have been paid bribes by the football governing body's former marketing partner.

Pieth had raised issues about Blatter’s “leadership responsibilities” as well as his “possible complicity in the scandal”, according to Der Spiegel, who said Pieth submitted a 15-page draft of his report and Villiger returned it two weeks later with 37 notes and various deletions.

Pieth told Der Spiegel he was aware of the changes.