It should be a shining light in leading football forward, but FIFA has an "ugly" culture according to one former leading administrator.
The game's ruling body has been beset by a number of scandals in recent years, and most recently has been fiercely criticized for its decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar amid allegations of worker abuse within the Gulf state.
"I thought it was a very difficult body to deal with -- I think its culture is very ugly," David Triesman, who was the English Football Association's chairman from 2008-10, told CNN in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.
As part of the failed bid to bring the 2018 World Cup to England, Triesman spent countless days dealing with FIFA -- an organization which he believes needs a metaphorical clearing out of the Augean Stables if it is to repair its tarnished image.
Directly in Triesman's firing line was FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who at the age of 77 is in his fourth and, he claimed when re-elected in 2011, final term of office.
"It's made up of people who have been there for decades in some cases. I think the thing about old dogs not learning new tricks is true," said Triesman, who quit his FA role under a cloud of controversy after reportedly criticizing rival World Cup host candidates.
"I must say that I think the hardest thing in the world is change a culture. You can change processes, but changing cultures is very hard."
Triesman has some experience in fighting an established culture -- he was the first chairman elected outside of the FA's hierarchy, having previously been a government minister.
"I think to change a culture, then a significant amount of these people have to go. There has to be a fresh start. They won't like that -- they've never liked it when it has been said," said the 69-year-old, who subsequently returned to politics with the Labour Party.
"You don't change deep and unacceptable cultures by tinkering with them."
FIFA offered no comment when asked by CNN to provide a response to Triesman's observations.
The Qatar condundrum
The plan to hold the 2022 World Cup in the desert heat is now under a review in consultation with the "main stakeholders for the Qatar 2022 dates."
The bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments is also being investigated.
Michael Garcia, a former New York attorney, is head of the investigative arm of FIFA's ethics committee and will visit all of the countries involved in the process, beginning in London.
Garcia has always insisted he is completely independent from FIFA and would not hesitate to take action against Blatter or other top FIFA officials if he found evidence that they broke the rules.
While Blatter has confirmed there is no chance of the tournament being taken away from Qatar, he recently admitted that it may have been a mistake to have agreed to hold it in the nation's summer.
"The mistake was to think that we could play this competition easily in the summertime," he said.
"There are some doubts as to whether it is a good period to play in this heat."
But Triesman is still bewildered by the decision to award the 2022 event to Qatar.
"I've never believed it. I almost fell over laughing when Sepp Blatter announced he didn't know how hot it was in Qatar at that time of year," he said.
"There are unpredictable things in life but the temperature in the Gulf in the summer is not one of those. It's one of the things you can bet your mortgage on every year.
"I wonder whether people are genuinely that foolish -- I don't believe they are or whether they were cynical and always knew it would have to move.