Removal of FIFA ethics team 'a setback'

Fifa.(Getty Images)
Fifa.(Getty Images)

Manama - FIFA's decision to remove its ethics team was a "setback in the fight against corruption", one of those dismissed, investigator Cornel Borbely, told a press conference in Bahrain on Wednesday.

World football's governing body has recommended that Borbely, along with the ethics judge who helped bring down Sepp Blatter, Hans-Joachim Eckert, not be re-elected at the FIFA Congress which takes place on May 11 in the Gulf.

Borbely also said there were "several hundred cases" of corruption pending.

The dramatic recommendation was taken by the all-powerful FIFA Council on Tuesday.

The Council recommended replacing Eckert with Vassilios Skouris of Greece, a former president of the European Court of Justice.

Similarly, ethics investigator Borbely is to be replaced by Colombia's Maria Claudia Rojas.

 The decision is set to be ratified by FIFA at its annual Congress, which convenes in Bahrain on Thursday.

The decision is controversial as critics have accused FIFA president Gianni Infantino of having a personal motive to replace Eckert and Borbely, as an ethics investigation was launched against him last year.

Eckert was the judge who opened proceedings against Blatter and Michel Platini in November 2015.

"It's not a great day for FIFA," Eckert told the same hastily-arranged press conference, held in a downtown hotel in Manama.

The investigators said they have still not been officially told about their removal and only found out via their "mobile phones" when they landed in Bahrain on Wednesday evening.

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