Report: FIFA chief Infantino influenced ethics code

Berlin - FIFA president Gianni Infantino is said to have influenced the new code of ethics at the world football governing body, according to a report on Friday.

Infantino made suggested corrections to the revised guidelines of the independent ethics commission, Germany's Der Spiegel reported, citing internal documents.

In response to a draft from Vassilios Skouris, chairman of the ethics committee, Infantino responded with several suggested changes.
They included that preliminary investigations into officials should be carried out only on the instructions of the chairperson of the investigatory chamber, and questioned whether FIFA should claim jurisdiction when national associations do not act on violations.
FIFA told Spiegel it was "completely implausible" for Skouris, who was president of the European Court of Justice for 12 years, to be pressured into acting against his own wishes.
The new ethics code came into force on June 10 with a 10-year statute of limitations added for bribery cases and the word "corruption" removed from the English version of the text - something FIFA claimed had no influence on pursuing cases.
"I have always said that the new code of ethics is Infantino's work and here's the proof," Hans-Joachim Eckert, the former chairman of the adjudicatory chamber of the ethics committee, told Spiegel. He said what Infantino had done was "a clear violation of the FIFA code and statutes."
Eckert, along with head of the ethics committee investigatory chamber Cornel Borbely, were replaced in May 2017 by Skouris and Maria Claudia Rojas, a Colombian who speaks neither English or high-level French.
Borbely had just started proceedings against Infantino relating to potentially improper practices, which the FIFA president denied.
"We were stopped because we ran investigations independently, also against Mr Infantino personally," Eckert said.


Friday, November 2nd 2018

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