Independent Ethics Committee welcomes support of the FIFA Executive Committee for the Ethics Committee’s request for greater transparency

Zurich, 25.09.2015 — The chairmen of the investigatory chamber and the adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee, Cornel Borbély and Hans-Joachim Eckert respectively, welcome the support given today by the FIFA Executive Committee for their request for greater transparency. They expect the Executive Committee to definitively approve the request on a legally binding basis at its meeting in December 2015, after the FIFA Legal Committee has completed its in-depth deliberations. Until this binding decision has been made, the Ethics Committee will continue to be unable to confirm individual proceedings or to publicly justify decisions before they become legally effective.

The chairmen of both chambers of the Ethics Committee had advocated in July 2015 the possibility to confirm ongoing proceedings against accused parties upon request and to justify decisions publicly when judgments have been passed, both of which are not possible under the current FIFA Code of Ethics.

“The FIFA Code of Ethics prevents the names of accused parties within an investigation from being disclosed upon request. This is inconsistent with state criminal proceedings in Switzerland and in other European countries, which would provide considerably greater transparency,” says the chairman of the investigatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee Cornel Borbély. “Transparency should be accorded greater importance when weighing up the protection of privacy against disclosure. For this reason, today’s agreement in principle by the Executive Committee to our request is good news for FIFA’s credibility and reputation.”

Eckert recommends public justification of decisions

The chairman of the adjudicatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee, Hans-Joachim Eckert, is requesting, as part of these transparency reforms, that the Ethics Committee be permitted to publicly justify its decisions immediately. “Regardless of whether an accused party is appealing the decision, the Ethics Committee should be able to publicly justify its decisions. Where there has been public misinformation, the Ethics Committee must also have the right to offer rectification,” says Eckert.

The two chairmen of the Ethics Committee are of the opinion that greater transparency in investigations would help efforts to uncover and clear up fraud, as it would encourage potential informants to support the investigations. They also believe that transparency will have a preventative effect, as future offenders will also have to face exposure. For these reasons, the two chairmen continue to advocate the points already raised:

1.  In important cases, the Ethics Committee may provide information regarding ongoing proceedings.

2.  Where it is in the public interest, the Ethics Committee may confirm the existence of ongoing proceedings upon request.

3.  The Ethics Committee will publicly justify the decisions it takes immediately, regardless of whether or not the football official in question is appealing the decision.

4.  Where there has been public misinformation, the Ethics Committee may offer rectification.

For further inquiries:

Adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee, chairman Hans-Joachim Eckert

Marc Tenbücken
Spokesman for the adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee
c/o Hendricks & Schwartz GmbH
Tal 15
D-80331 Munich
Office  +49 89 23685300
Mobile +49 172 8637533
mt@hendricks-schwartz.com

Investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee, chairman Cornel Borbély

Andreas Bantel
Spokesman for the investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee
c/o Bantel & Partner AG
Othmarstrasse 8
CH-8008 Zurich
Office  +41 44 389 17 05
Mobile +41 79 231 56 62
andreas.bantel@bantel.ch

 

 

 

 

Inquiries:
Dr. Cornel Borbély
Chairman of the Investigatory Chamber
FIFA Ethics Committee
E-Mail: borbely@borbely.ch

Hans-Joachim Eckert
Chairman of the Adjudicatory Chamber
FIFA Ethics Committee
E-Mail: eckert@hjeckert.de