Critics Are ‘FIFA-Bashing’ and Spreading ‘fake News’

Critics of world football’s governing body are spreading “fake news” and taking part in “FIFA bashing”, says president Gianni Infantino.

FIFA’s decision this week not to reappoint ethics chiefs Hans-Joachim Eckert and Cornel Borbely means an end to the reform process, the pair said.

Infantino’s predecessor Sepp Blatter is serving a six-year ban from football for ethics breaches.

“We took over the organisation at its deepest point,” said Infantino.

“We are rebuilding Fifa’s reputation after all that happened.”

Infantino, 47, took over as Fifa president in January 2016 after the 81-year-old Blatter’s 17-year reign ended in a corruption scandal.

Chief investigator Borbely and ethics adjudicator Eckert said “hundreds” of cases of alleged wrongdoing – some involving senior officials – were being looked into by Fifa’s ethics committee before they were ousted.

In response to their claims, Fifa released a statement on Wednesday, saying it wanted to “better reflect the geographic and gender diversity that must be a part of an international organisation like FIFA”.

“There are a lot of fake news and alternative facts about Fifa circulating,” said Infantino, speaking before the Fifa congress in Bahrain.

“FIFA bashing has become a national sport in some countries. It was right but FIFA has changed now.”

Last month, high-ranking Fifa official Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabahresigned a day after denying claims linking him to a fraud case. He denies any wrongdoing.

Infantino said the “new FIFA” under his leadership was a “transparent organisation” that was not “fiddling around”.

He added: “If there is anyone who still thinks that he can enrich himself and he can abuse football, I have one plea for them – leave football now. We don’t want you.”

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(Via: CitiFM Online Ghana)