Ethics chief: I don't take orders from Sepp Blatter, FIFA

Friday March 6th, 2015

New FIFA chief ethics investigator Cornel Borbely said he will not be pushed around by employees of the world’s governing soccer body or president Sepp Blatter while trying to do his job making sure that corruption stays out of the sport.

Borbely was the deputy ethics chief and took over when Michael Garcia quit over in December citing  "a lack of leadership" within the organization and criticized FIFA’s World Cup bid corruption report saying it contained “numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations of facts and conclusions."

A redacted version of Garcia's report will be published at a later date.

FIFA cleared Russia and Qatar of wrongdoing after the two countries were chosen to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

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Borbely said he won’t act on Blatter’s orders and nobody will be interfering with his job.

"This is absurd and any such claim is not founded in any facts that I could comprehend or cite. I can only emphasise that I am not an employee of FIFA," Borbely said to Reuters. "I run my own law firm and I don’t take any orders at all from FIFA -- none whatsoever. I alone decide whether to open, conduct and conclude an investigation and on its result."

Borberly, 36, says he will use the powers he has to punish anyone that doesn’t cooperate with investigations adding that that everyone is subject to the organization’s ethics code.

"We can force people to cooperate under Swiss law governing associations, and if they don’t cooperate they are punished," Borberly said. "This distinguishes us from a prosecutor, who cannot force people to cooperate."

FIFA has been plagued in result months over the corruption scandal and when to start the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Last month, FIFA’s task force recommended that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to be played in November and December to avoid the summer heat in the country.

- Scooby Axson

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