21 days to go to the AFC Asian Cup, UAE 2019

Pieth adds to criticism of Infantino’s ethically-challenged new FIFA

Mark Pieth

December 12 – FIFA’s original governance guru has come out of the shadows to describe the organisation under Gianni Infantino as a laughing stock that has actually gone backwards from the days of Sepp Blatter when it comes to meaningful reform.

Swiss integrity expert Mark Pieth, first brought in by FIFA to oversee the reform process and who headed FIFA’s Independent Governance Committee, only for his reform ideas to be largely ignored, told Switzerland’s Tages Anzeiger newspaper that Infantino has assumed total power in order to be re-elected, sweeping out his critics in the process.

“Infantino wants to accomplish absolute control over FIFA because he wants to be re-elected [in 2019]. FIFA has become a joke. It is sad,” said Pieth.

“He has been actively working to remove all the independent and potentially critical forces that have ever come to FIFA. He has reversed everything that (Sepp) Blatter introduced. The problem is that FIFA officials feel they are above the law.”

Pieth also questions why FIFA simply accepts Vitaly Mutko continuing as chief organiser of the World Cup now that Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister has been banned by the International Olympic Committee from attending all future Games because of the ongoing doping scandal.

“You should not be in business with this person anymore. It should be prohibited by the FIFA Ethics Committee. It does not matter if it’s about footballers or other athletes. Someone like Mr Mutko has no place within FIFA which lacks the necessary strength to take a decision.”

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