Two more Fifa officials quit following dismissal of committee chiefs
Two members of Fifa’s governance committee have become the latest officials at soccer’s international governing body to resign following the dismissal of several senior committee members last week.
South African jurist Navi Pillay and corporate responsibility adviser Ron Popper announced yesterday that they were stepping down from their positions in protest at the ousting of Fifa governance committee chair Miguel Maduro last Tuesday.
Maduro, a Portuguese politician and corporate governance expert, was brought in by Fifa last year to assist with the implementation of reforms but was dismissed just eight months into the job.
Maduro’s dismissal was followed by the resignation of governance committee member and NYU law professor Joseph Weiler.
Turmoil has also troubled Fifa's ethics committee as Cornel Borbely, the chair of Fifa’s investigatory chamber, and Hans-Joachim Eckert, his counterpart at the adjudicatory chamber, were both dismissed.
The pair are set to replaced, respectively, by Colombian prosecutor Maria Claudia Rojas and Greek judge Vassilios Skouris who was president of the European Court of Justice from 2003 to 2015.
Swiss investigator Borbely and German judge Eckert have been instrumental in the last few years as Fifa has implemented a series of reforms, latterly under new president Gianni Infantino, and sought to clean its house in the wake of various damaging scandals.
The ethics committee chiefs have overseen proceedings against a long list of officials, with bans handed out to, among others, ex-Fifa president Sepp Blatter and former Uefa head Michel Platini.
However, they are thought to have made some powerful enemies in the process, and claim that their removal, ahead of Fifa’s Congress in Manama, Bahrain last week, was “obviously politically motivated.”
In a joint statement last week, Borbely and Eckert said that the decision “will greatly set back the work of the ethics commission and means the de facto end of FIFA’s reform efforts. It must be assumed therefore that in the medium and long term the whole of world football will suffer because of this decision.