FIFA to replace judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, prosecutor Cornel Borbely
MANAMA, Bahrain -- A new judge and prosecutor will oversee corruption cases in world soccer, after FIFA agreed plans to replace its top ethics officials.
German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert and Swiss prosecutor Cornel Borbely are set to leave despite indicating they wanted to continue their work. They have multiple ongoing cases against soccer officials implicated in a widespread U.S. federal investigation of bribery and corruption.
FIFA said that its ruling council, chaired by President Gianni Infantino, on Tuesday proposed Greek judge Vassilios Skouris and Colombian lawyer Maria Claudia Rojas. They must be confirmed by FIFA's Congress of member federations on Thursday.
Skouris was president of the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg for 12 years until 2015.
Eckert and Borbely have been with the ethics court since a revamp with greater independence in 2012, and banned multiple officials during the biggest corruption crisis in FIFA's history.
Eckert's highest-profile cases included imposing bans on former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and then-UEFA president Michel Platini in December 2015. Eckert also helped judge a case against Infantino last year that ended in no action being taken over his use of private flights provided by Russian and Qatari interests.
Borbely recused himself in the cases of Infantino and Blatter as a fellow Swiss national. He is set to leave FIFA while prosecuting Franz Beckenbauer and other officials from the German organising committee for the 2006 World Cup in a fraud case linked to millions of euros passing through FIFA accounts.
Der Spiegel reported that U.S. law professor Joseph Weiler resigned from his position on the FIFA governance committee after condemning the changes.
Skouris would become the second senior official at FIFA who worked at the European court in Luxembourg during that period. FIFA's outgoing governance committee chairman Miguel Maduro of Portugal was an advocate general at the court from 2003-09.