Sacked Fifa ethics pair insist their removal ends chances of reform

Ross McLean
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FIFA Executive Committee Meeting
Ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert and chief investigator Cornel Borbely have been axed (Source: Getty)

Sacked Fifa ethics officials insist their removal is tantamount to the end of efforts to rid the crisis-hit world governing body of corruption and lead a series of reforms.

Despite having multiple ongoing cases against football personnel implicated in a widespread investigation, ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert and chief investigator Cornel Borbely have been axed by Fifa’s ruling council.

The pair have, during their time in office, overseen the suspension and expulsion of leading Fifa officials including former long-serving president Sepp Blatter and secretary general Jerome Valcke.

In a joint statement, Eckert and Borbely emphasised they felt their eradication would lead to an “inevitable loss of trust” and would put the “future of Fifa at risk”.

“Hans-Joachim Eckert and Cornel Borbely regret the decision by the Fifa Council to not renominate them for the position of the chairmen of the two chambers of Fifa’s Independent Ethics Committee,” read a statement.

“The impending non-election will set the work of the Ethics Committee far back and is de facto the end of Fifa’s reform efforts. It must be assumed that entire Fifa will suffer from the decision in the medium and long term.”

Colombian investigator Maria Claudia Rojas and Greek judge Vassilios Skouris have been nominated by Fifa’s ruling council, chaired by president Gianni Infantino, to take over. They must be confirmed by Fifa’s Congress of member federations on Thursday.

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