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Ousted FIFA Ethics Officials Blast FIFA for Jeopardizing Its Own Integrity

Sepp Blatter, Jerome Valcke, and Michel Platini, among others, were banned under their watch.
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This article originally appeared on VICE Sports.

The two men charged with righting FIFA's ship in the wake of corruption scandals are no longer on board. German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert took over as the head of the judicial arm of FIFA's ethics committee in 2012. Swiss prosecutor Cornel Borbely joined the investigatory arm of the same committee in 2013, and rbecame in investigative chairman in December 2014.


While under Eckert's and Borbely's watch, the ethics committee banned president Sepp Blatter, his second-in-command Jerome Valcke, and UEFA president Michel Platini, among many other high-ranking officials. Even current president Gianni Infantino was under investigation, but he eluded any punishment.

Now, the two most senior officials on the ethics committee will not be back, even as investigations continue. Both Eckert and Borbely failed to secure bids for renomination from a council headed by, you guessed it, Gianni Infantino. On their way out, the two outgoing officials had some damning words for FIFA:

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

Under FIFA rules, both officials were entitled to two more terms of four years each, and according to Reuters, both wanted to stay on. Instead, FIFA will have to appoint two new officials to the committee, a process that could delay pending investigations at least two years. Which is probably just a total coincidence.

In dismissing the two, FIFA leadership has "accepted jeopardizing FIFA's integrity, and…the future of the game," Eckert and Borbely said, in order to further "their own and political interests."