FIFA cans long-tenured ethics committee judge, prosecutor

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FIFA has voted not to nominate ethics committee judge Hans-Joachim Eckert and prosecutor Cornel Borbely for re-election.

Eckert has been with FIFA since 1978, presiding over countless decisions involving FIFA personnel accused of various ethics breaches. Borbely, a Swiss lawyer, has served as chairman of the investigatory chamber since 2006.

Needless to say, the firing did not sit well with the pair. “The impending and clearly politically motivated non-reappointment puts de facto an end to the reform efforts,” Eckert and Borbely said in a statement. “This will inevitably lead to a renewed loss of trust and further hurt the already tarnished image of FIFA. Consequently, the non-reappointment will have a negative impact on FIFA in the medium and long term.”

Since FIFA revamped its ethics process in 2012, both men have served with greater freedom, but ultimately their positions hold little power without the subpoena power that most governments possess. Eckert presided over the cases against Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini.

Greek judge Vassilios Skouris and Colombian lawyer Maria Claudia Rojas were nominated by the FIFA council in their places.