PtG Article 03.09.2012

Blatter strikes back at Ethics Committee Judge Eckert

Last week, one of the heads of FIFA’s independent Ethics Committee, Joachim Eckert, told a German news magazine that Sepp Blatter needed to participate in the clean-up of FIFA or resign as its president, which prompted criticism from the FIFA head. 

In an interview with the German newspaper Sport Bild, Blatter stated that he was not at all happy with the comments made by Eckert. 

"A judge should not say anything," Blatter told Sport Bild. "I have never experienced it that a judge makes a comment about an on-going case; he only says something when he makes the judgement."

In his sports blog, Roger Pielke Jr. argues that Blatter’s comments can be seen as rather problematic: “Surely Blatter would not be trying to influence Eckert's actions?” 

Trying to influence the work of the Ethics Committee would place him at risk of violating the provisions of independence set forth in new FIFA's Ethics Code, stating that “the members of the Ethics Committee shall manage their investigations and proceedings and render their decisions entirely independently and must avoid any third-party influence.” 

“However, Blatter is learning that actual "independence" means "outside of FIFA's control" and this initial indication is that he does not much like it,” Pielke Jr. concludes. 

Source: Inside World Football, Roger Pielke Jr.’s blog The Least Thing