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FIFA defend decision to replace ethics bosses

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FIFA chief ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert

FIFA has defended the decision to replace two of its ethics bosses while “several hundred” cases are ongoing.

Football’s governing body announced on Tuesday that neither Swiss prosecutor Cornel Borbely nor chief ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert will be reappointed.

The two men have been instrumental in investigating and banning 70 officals, including Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini, but the FIFA Council has instead nominated Colombian prosecutor Maria Claudia Rojas and Greek judge Vassilios Skouris for the posts.

Those appointments are expected to be ratified on Thursday against the backdrop of heavy criticism from the outgoing pair, who claim “several hundred” cases are pending and say their “politically motivated” removal effectively spells the end of reform at FIFA.

But a statement from FIFA on Wednesday cited “geographic and gender diversity” as reasons why the new nominees were agreed unanimously by officials including president Gianni Infantino.

It read: “The proposed list of candidates for the Audit and Compliance Committee, the Governance Committee and the judicial bodies was agreed to following a thorough consultation process involving FIFA and the six confederations. The decision on the final list of candidates was then agreed to unanimously by the FIFA Council.

“These individuals have been chosen because they are recognised, high-profile experts in their respective fields. Moreover, they better reflect the geographic and gender diversity that must be a part of an international organisation like FIFA.”

Skouris is a former president of the European Court of Justice, while Rojas was previously president of the Council of State in her home country.

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