Lie Another Day

The newly appointed chairwoman of the ethics committee, María Claudia Rojas, made her first public statement yesterday – and started off with a blatant lie. That’s good news for FIFA President Gianni Infantino, but bad news for everyone who cares about football.    By Pål Ødegård ( and Håvard Melnæs ( After both chairmen of the ethics committee were controversially replaced at the FIFA congress in Bahrain last month, a move FIFA Council member, the German FA President Reinhard Grindel, says was a decision made by Gianni Infantino himself, there have been low expectations of any statements from this independent committee on any verdicts or investigations for the foreseeable future. Since Infantino became FIFA President last year, he has removed every major player in the game of football politics that opposed or challenged him. The Swiss promised reforms, instead he is acting more and more like an autocrat. The former chairman of the committee’s investigatory chamber, Cornel Borbély, said at an improvised press conference in Bahrain that “hundreds of cases would now be on hold”, cases that would be “stalled for years”. He added that it “was a huge setback in the fight against corruption,” while also pointing out that “you have to develop this practice, this knowhow. It’s a question how long it takes for the new chamber to investigate these cases to the level that will bring success.” It was therefore a surprising move that FIFA yesterday published a statement regarding reports that FIFA president Gianni Infantino was under investigation. The statement reads as follows: “Today, Ms María Claudia Rojas, the current chair...

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