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Former Member of FIFA’s Governance Committee Lodges Ethics Complaint

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Joseph Weiler, a former member of FIFA’s Governance Committee, has filed an ethics complaint against the governing body.

Weiler, who stood down following chairman Miguel Maduro’s removal, lodged the action this week.

It is understood to include claims made by the Portuguese in his testimony to the British Government’s Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee on Wednesday (September 13).

The New York University professor was placed in charge of a working group which would look into the electoral guidelines.

According to The New York Times, Weiler claimed FIFA President Gianni Infantino “improperly intervened in their committee’s work to block scrutiny of senior executives”.

“All of this information that I gave is known by FIFA,” Weiler said.

“I was hoping to see there would be action.

“I want to believe the Ethics Committee will not remain indifferent to these issues and there will be serious investigations.”

Maduro, the former Portuguese Government Minister, was axed from his role as FIFA Governance Committee chairman after only eight months in May.

His departure came in controversial circumstances and his testimony this week raised further questions on Infantino’s ethical conduct during his tenure so far.

Maduro claimed the FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura warned him the move to bar Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko from the Council would have a disastrous impact on Infantino’s Presidency and the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

“In that meeting, the secretary general made clear that it was extremely problematic – more than that – she said that we needed to find a solution to declare Mr Mutko eligible because, otherwise, the Presidency itself would be in question; the World Cup would be a disaster – that was her view – and, as a consequence, the continued Presidency of Mr Infantino would also be in question,” Maduro told the Select Committee.

“I told her very simply that that was a matter of political opportunity that was not for my Committee to decide.

“That was simply not what we were interested to do.

“We were interested with the application of the rules, independently of the persons in question.”

Maduro confirmed that the decision to ban Mutko was the main reason for his departure after just eight months in the role earlier this year.

Mutko, his country’s former Sports Minister, was barred from standing for re-election due to his role within the Russian Government, as it was deemed to breach FIFA’s rules on Government interference.

Maduro insisted banning Mutko was the right call and was “very clear” that the Governance Committee were following FIFA’s rules.

He accused Infantino, elected FIFA President in February 2016, of placing his own survival in front of the governance reforms within the scandal-hit body.

In a statement, FIFA hit back at some of the accusations made by Maduro.

World football’s governing body claimed the independence of FIFA’s committees and the success of FIFA’s reform process “will only be measured by the decisions taken in the future and not by personal opinions”.

Maduro’s mandate as the head of the Governance Committee was not renewed by the FIFA Council, despite his appointment being hailed as crucial to the fight against corruption.

Hans-Joachim Eckert and Cornel Borbély, heads of the Adjudicatory and Investigatory Chambers of the FIFA Ethics Committee respectively, were also dismissed from their roles.

Infantino seemed to imply the reason for Maduro’s departure was because of his European nationality.

This comes despite the fact that Tomaž Vesel, from Slovenia, was the only chairman of the five Independent Committees to retain his position for another four-year term.

Maduro is set to speak again on his time at FIFA at a Council of Europe hearing in Paris on September 22.

Eckert and Borbély are also due to discuss FIFA’s governance at the session.

By Max Winters

Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz

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