FIFA ethics duo furious after removal

The two heads of FIFA's ethics committee removed from the governing body have criticised what they called a "political" decision and said it jeopardises the future of the game.

Swiss prosecutor Cornel Borbely and German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, who brought about the downfall of football leaders such as Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini, failed in a bid to be nominated for re-election by FIFA's ruling council.

The duo have many ongoing cases against officials implicated in a huge US federal investigation of bribery and corruption in football. Since 2015 they have carried out a total of 194 investigations that has led to the sentencing of 70 football officials.

Led by organisation president Gianni Infantino, the FIFA Council is proposing Eckert and Borbely be replaced by Greek judge Vassilios Skouris and Colombian lawyer Maria Claudia Rojas.

FIFA member associations are expected to approve the new appointments in a vote taking place in Bahrain on Thursday.

"The impending and clearly politically motivated non-reappointment puts de facto an end to the reform efforts," a statement released by Eckert and Borbely read.

"This will inevitably lead to a renewed loss of trust and further hurt the already tarnished image of FIFA. Consequently, the non-reappointment will have a negative impact on FIFA in the medium and long term.

"The successors of both chairmen will have to familiarize themselves with the dossiers and the processes. The non-election will lead to long delays in current investigations and proceedings, and complicate the prosecution of violations of the code of ethics.

"It appears that the heads of FIFA have attached greater weight to their own and political interests, than to the long-term interests of FIFA. They have accepted jeopardising FIFA's integrity, and, hence, the future of the game."

Comments