Two more quit Fifa gov­er­nance panel

New Straits Times - - Sport -

GENEVA: In a fur­ther blow to Fifa’s im­age un­der Pres­i­dent Gianni In­fantino, two more re­spected mem­bers of their gov­er­nance over­sight panel have left fol­low­ing the re­moval of their chair­man last week.

Navi Pil­lay, the for­mer United Na­tions High Com­mis­sioner for Hu­man Rights, and cor­po­rate hu­man rights ex­pert Ron Pop­per, have re­signed, Fifa said on Wed­nes­day.

Their move fol­lows the exit of Miguel Maduro, a Por­tuguese lawyer and for­mer govern­ment min­is­ter.

“The world of foot­ball still hasn’t re­alised what is re­quired if they re­ally want to act un­der the rule of law and in a man­ner that is sub­ject to ef­fec­tive, in­de­pen­dent scru­tiny,” Maduro said on Wed­nes­day in a tele­phone in­ter­view. Maduro’s du­ties in less than a year with Fifa in­cluded vet­ting can­di­dates for se­nior po­si­tions, and led to Rus­sia’s deputy prime min­is­ter Vi­taly Mutko be­ing barred from an elec­tion last month to re­tain his Fifa coun­cil seat.

Mutko was judged to be com­pro­mised by his po­lit­i­cal du­ties at home, where he re­mains head of the 2018 World Cup or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee.

Fifa’s head ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eck­ert and lead pros­e­cu­tor Cor­nel Bor­bely were also re­placed against their wishes. Most of their teams also were not re­tained, de­spite there be­ing no clear tran­si­tion plan for hun­dreds of on­go­ing cases.

Maduro told The AP it was a “dra­matic and dras­tic de­ci­sion” for Fifa un­der In­fantino to push through such up­heaval with­out “strong jus­ti­fi­ca­tion.”

Fifa’s ap­point­ment of Pil­lay in Jan­uary gave cred­i­bil­ity to In­fantino’s pledged com­mit­ment to anti-cor­rup­tion re­forms af­ter years of fi­nan­cial scan­dals and crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tions of Fifa in the United States, Switzer­land and else­where.

Pil­lay, a South African judge, led the UN’s hu­man rights of­fice in Geneva from 2008-14.

Pil­lay and Pop­per joined an­other gov­er­nance panel col­league, New York Univer­sity law pro­fes­sor Joseph Weiler who also re­signed as an in­de­pen­dent over­seer hours af­ter Maduro’s exit was an­nounced. AP

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