FIFA's decision to remove Cornel Borbely, the chairman of the Ethics Committee's Investigatory Chamber, reportedly came at a convenient time.
According to the Guardian's David Conn, FIFA ousted Borbely while he was on the trail of Vitaly Mutko – Russia's deputy prime minister, president of the Football Union of Russia, and member of the Organising Committee for the World Cup. The Swiss lawyer was apparently examining doping allegations when his tenure was terminated in May.
More specifically, Borbely was allegedly investigating the role of Mutko in state-sponsored doping, and was examining the evidence on Russia and the deputy prime minister's activities.
On Monday, Mutko was excluded by the International Olympic Committee from any participation in all future Olympic Games. The decision was announced as the Russian Olympic Committee was suspended by the IOC for the systematic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russia. FIFA said the decision "has no impact on the preparations for the 2018 World Cup."
Borbely and Hans-Joachim Eckert, who was employed as the chairman of the Ethics Committee's Adjudicatory Chamber, were omitted from FIFA's proposal of the members for its judicial bodies, and replaced by Maria Claudia Rojas and Vassilios Skouris, respectively. Conn reported in June that their omissions took place while Gianni Infantino, FIFA president, was under investigation for more than one alleged instance of malpractice. The chairmen complained they were given zero notice their four-year terms wouldn't be renewed, and were working on "hundreds of cases."
According to Conn, Mutko faces a ban from football if FIFA agrees with the World Anti-Doping Agency and IOC.
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