GENEVA, Nov 20: A former head of FIFA’s Ethics Committee has stepped down from his position in Switzerland’s prosecution supervisory authority in order to not hamper ongoing investigations into football, it was announced on Monday.
Cornel Borbely presided on the investigation chamber of world football governing body’s ethics committee from May 2015 until his dismissal alongside adjudicatory chamber head Hans-Joachim Eckert in May 2017, following the arrival of Gianni Infantino as FIFA president.
In a brief statement, Switzerland’s public prosecutors office (MPC) said that “current developments in complex investigations into football... Have resulted in this area becoming of unexpected importance in the activities of the AS-MPC (MPC’s supervisory authority)”.
The supervisory authority has six members, who are responsible for ensuring the smooth running of investigations conducted by the MPC.
“In order to enable the AS-MPC to count on all of its resources, Cornel Borbely has decided to step down,” added the MPC.
Since a raid on a luxury hotel in Zurich in May 2015 led to the arrests of a number of FIFA executives and shone the spotlight on the corrupt underbelly of world football, Switzerland has pursued a number of cases.
Charges have been pressed against former FIFA president Sepp Blatter as well as against FIFA’s former Secretary General Jerome Valcke.
Swiss investigators have also searched UEFA’s offices in Nyon concerning revelations made in the so-called Panama Papers over a broadcasting rights contract signed by the organisation’s former secretary general, Gianni Infantino, the current president of FIFA.
The latest series of Football Leaks allegations meanwhile shone a light on Infantino’s relationship with another Swiss prosecutor, Rinaldo Arnold, spurring Swiss authorities to open an investigation.
Infantino allegedly invited Arnold to attend the World Cup in Russia, the 2016 FIFA Congress in Mexico and the Champions League final in Milan that year, in exchange for organising meetings with Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber and other attorney general’s office chiefs. – AFP