19870711. Fotballspillerne Arne Larsen Økland (tv) og Børre Meinseth. Foto: Dag Langholm / VG / NTB scanpix

«I find no other way to describe FIFA’s approach to the principle of political neutrality than shocking»

Former chair of the independent governance committee Miguel Maduro was hired by Gianni Infantino to “clean up” the mess and corruption at FIFA. Less than a year later, he was fired by the same man. By Pål Ødegård Josimar: In your testimony to the British Parliament, the most striking revelation you made was undoubtedly the lengths the FIFA leadership went to keep Vitaly Mutko eligible. You also said this was the only time the FIFA president actively tried to persuade you to change your mind. In addition to that, the secretary general took along the chairman of the Audit & Compliance Committee to do the same. What does this say about the level of Russian influence of the international football governing bodies? Maduro: I do not know and it would not be appropriate for me to speculate. In answering the questions of the British members of parliament I described the contacts I received from FIFA officials and the concerns they expressed but I have no information on the exact reasons for those concerns. I am simply not in a position to know with certainty what exactly might have determined the actions of those FIFA officials in that case. *Josimar: FIFA's secretary general Fatma Samoura brought along the chairman of the Audit & Compliance Committee, Tomaz Vesel, to try to influence your decision on Valery Mutko. What is your opinion regarding the fact that an independent chairman did this? *Maduro: I think it speaks for itself without me having to add anything else. I will just use the opportunity to answer to Dr Vesel’s criticism, following my participation in the House of Commons parliamentary inquiry, that I should not have made these facts public. Firstly, the problem is not in making such facts public but in the facts themselves. Not ...

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