Basketball Hall of Fame, American Football Hall of Fame; there are several examples of similar institutions in the sport world. Thus, it is astonishing that there is no “FIFA Football Hall of Fame”. Because of that, I’ve decided to suggest its creation and explain an easy way that it could work and specially talk about its inaugural inductees, voting panel and criteria of electability.
Criteria of electability:
Initially, important to say that such Hall of Fame would have as members only players (both male and female) and coaches. Other influential people in football (board members, innovators, journalists, among others) could be honored at the Museum created for the Hall of Fame (filled with legendary memorabilia), but would not be eligible, in order to avoid “political lobby”. Another eligibility criterion would be that the player must had retired for at least five years (any former player from any era could be elected; that right would never cease to exist)
When such institutes arise, it is common to pick “inaugural inductees”. Hence, I think 30 should be chosen (15 male players, 2 female players — because of women’s organized football short period of existence — and 3 coaches) concomitant to the Hall of Fame creation (also since they would be part of the voting panel). Such election should be done by a Committee of journalists/historians (always chosen by the association of journalists of each country) specialized in football, divided in the following way:
3 from each World Cup winning country: Argentina, Brazil, England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Uruguay.
1 from each World Cup runners-up country: Czech Republic (taking turns each year with Slovakia, since there is no more Czechoslovakia), Hungary, Netherlands, and Sweden.
Every time there is a new World Cup Champion or runners up, its representatives would be added. Journalists would be only replaced in specific cases: death, exclusion from the journalist’s association (following due process), definitive criminal conviction, or health condition that harms their mental capacities.
1 from each Continental Confederation (CONMEBOL, UEFA, CONCACAF, CAF, AFC e OFC).). The Confederation would draw the first country (excluding those above — champions and runners up) to represent it in the election (also trough a journalist chosen by the nation’s association of journalists) and from them, all the countries would annually take turns in alphabetical order. Those 34 journalists would have the task to choose the first 20 members of the Hall of Fame, necessarily divided in the aforementioned way. If there is a tie, the older player gets elected. Evidently, some legends would be locks to get in, like Pele, Maradona, Cruyff, Di Stefano, Beckenbauer and Garrincha. Those 20 legends would be gathered at the event that grants the FIFA Ballon d’Or to best player of the year (something like what the NBA did in the 1997 All Star Game, when the 50 greatest players of the league were honored).
Definitive rules of following years.
With the initial inductees set, it becomes possible to establish the rules to be followed the following years. Each member of the aforementioned Committee would freely vote for 10 male players, 2 female players and 2 coaches. Those with the most votes, in that same quantity, would be part of a pre-list to the final choice (the more advance age would still be the tie breaker in all groups). Important to say that if in three straight or five alternate years, a male player gets in the top five, or a female player or coach gets the top spot, they would automatically enter the Hall of Fame, without the need of approval in the voting panel.
From the list of 10 male players, 2 female players and 2 coaches, the voting panel would elect: 5 male players, 1 female player and 1 coach, who would have the honor to be inductees of the Hall of Fame and to be honored during the FIFA Ballon d’Or annual award event.
The voting panel would consist of the Committee of Journalists plus the members of the hall of fame (several similar institutes are justly criticized for not giving voting power to its inductees). As one can see, no FIFA or Confederation members would have the right to vote, something very important in times of mistrust, strong corruption accusations and formal investigations against big names in FIFA and confederations like CBF. To avoid future disproportions, the votes should be counted in the following way: the average between the percentage of the voting by each player by the Committee and the hall of famers. The five male players, one female player and one coach with the better percentage would join the Hall of Fame
Example for an easier understanding (pre list with 10 male players and votes).
Player % of votes in the Committee % of votes among hall of famers Average(%)
A – 30 14 22
B 8 8 8
C 12 10 11
D 6 4 5
E 4 6 5
F 10 2 6
G 14 30 22
H 10 4 7
I 2 10 6
J 4 12 8
Players A B, C, G E J, would join the Hall.
I consider this system to be fair and hope, for honoring the great idols of the sport, a FIFA Hall of Fames gets created.