Sports

Fifa investigating ‘hundreds’ of cases

“Hundreds” of cases of alleged wrongdoing – some involving senior officials – were being looked into by Fifa’s ethics committee before its main investigator and judge were ousted, the two have claimed.

Football’s world governing announced on Tuesday it will not reappoint investigator Cornel Borbely and ethics adjudicator Hans-Joachim Eckert.

At a news conference on Wednesday, they said their removal was a “setback for the fight against corruption” with knowledge of the cases being lost.

The pair had earlier said it “meant the de facto end of Fifa’s reform efforts”.

Borbely believes his removal was politically motivated.

“We investigated several hundred cases and several hundred are still pending and ongoing at the moment,” Swiss Borbely said on Wednesday.

He also outlined how he believed his removal along with German judge Eckert was “not in Fifa’s best interests and against good governance”.

It “weakened and incapacitated” football’s world governing body, adding that “Fifa’s code of ethics is a dead letter”.

World football’s governing body launched a reform process following the arrests and indictment of several officials on bribery and corruption charges in 2015.

Borbely and Eckert have combined to ban numerous football officials in that time.

Last year the committee investigated – and cleared – Fifa president Gianni Infantino of wrongdoing related to his expenses and sacking of whistleblowers.

Eckert’s tenure has not been without criticism, however. In 2014 his report which cleared Russia and Qatar of corruption in the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids was described as “erroneous and incomplete” by Michael Garcia, who had spent two years investigating the claims for Fifa.

Borbely and Eckert will be replaced by Colombian prosecutor Maria Claudia Rojas and Greek judge Vassilios Skouris, who was head of the European Court of Justice for 12 years until 2015.

Source: BBC

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