By Brian Homewood
ZURICH (Reuters) - FIFA's executive committee has called on the federation's member associations to approve proposed reforms at Friday's Congress and was informed that the global soccer body faced a financially "challenging" situation.
“The eyes of the world are on us this week after one of the most challenging times in our history," acting FIFA president Issa Hayatou told the committee, according to a statement from the organization on Wednesday.
"The approval of the reforms will send a strong message that we have listened and that we are taking the action necessary to regain trust and improve our performance.”
FIFA, shaken by an unprecedented graft scandal which has seen several dozen officials indicted in the United States, will choose a new president at a special Congress on Friday to replace outgoing Swiss Sepp Blatter, who has been suspended for eight years for ethics violations.
Five candidates are standing in the election which will be held during FIFA's Extraordinary Congress.
The reforms which will be proposed on Friday include term limits for senior officials, and the replacement of the executive committee with a new FIFA Council. They can only be passed with the approval of 75 percent of member associations.
The committee also recommended that Friday's Congress should delay any decision on Kuwait and Indonesia, who are currently suspended and cannot vote.
This means that 207 federations, rather than 209, would be able to vote.
Acting FIFA secretary general Markus Kattner told the committee that the world governing body's current financial situation was "challenging" although the statement did not give any further details.
(Reporting by Brian Homewood; Editing by Ken Ferris)