Mexico City - The head of FIFA's independent audit committee, Domenico Scala quit
on Saturday in protest at what he called attacks on reforms of the
scandal-tainted world football governing body by its leadership.
is angry at a FIFA Council move to control the nomination of members of
independent oversight bodies such as its ethics committee and audit and
The measure was approved on Friday by a
FIFA congress, the first under new president Gianni Infantino, who was
elected in February promising a new era of transparency.
said the committees had been "deprived of their independence and are in
danger of becoming auxiliary agents of those whom they should actually
The Swiss official has played a key role drawing up
reforms after the scandals that claimed the heads of former president
Sepp Blatter and UEFA president Michel Platini.
henceforth be possible for the council to impede investigations against
single members at any time, by dismissing the responsible committee
members or by keeping them acquiescent through the threat of a
dismissal," Scala warned.
Scala said he was "consternated about
this decision, because it undermines a central pillar of the good
governance of FIFA and it destroys a substantial achievement of the
FIFA released a statement in response claiming Scala had misunderstood the measures taken.
"FIFA regrets that Mr. Scala has misinterpreted the purpose of the decision taken by the FIFA Congress," said the statement.
decision was made to permit the Council to appoint members on an
interim basis to the vacant positions of the new committees so they can
start fulfilling their roles as part of the ongoing reform process until
the next FIFA Congress in 2017.
"In addition, the measure allows for the swift removal of members who have breached their obligations.
Council fully respects the independence of the Audit and Compliance and
the Ethics committees, and any suggestions to the contrary are without
"Mr. Scala has made unfounded claims which are baseless.
FIFA is focused on reform and the path forward as evidenced by the
appointment of a new FIFA Secretary General."
The FIFA council's
request to take control of nominations to the committees was not part of
the reforms agreed at a special congress in February when Infantino was
The ethics committee ordered the six-year suspension
against Blatter and a similar punishment against Platini, whose ban has
since been reduced to four years.
The committee has also ordered
lengthy bans against officials such as Chuck Blazer of the United States
and Jack Warner of Trinidad and Tobago after they were implicated in
resignation came a day after Infantino named Fatma Samoura as secretary
general, the first woman and first non-European to become FIFA's number
Samoura, from Senegal, will take over from Frenchman Jerome
Valcke, who was sacked last year after being implicated in a scandal
over black market World Cup tickets.
With FIFA still the subject
of a Swiss criminal investigation and former senior officials facing
trial in the United States over huge bribes for television deals, world
football's governing body faces a major task to restore its credibility.
goal is to support the programme of president Gianni (Infantino) and to
help football restore its tarnished image," Samoura, a top UN diplomat,
told AFP in an interview on Saturday.
Infantino said that Samoura was the "most competent" person to run FIFA's administration.
a year after police raids that led to the arrest of seven FIFA
officials at a congress in Switzerland, Samoura does not face an easy
job, made more complicated by Scala's protest resignation.
of dealing with humanitarian crises for the United Nations, she will
now have to make sure that FIFA's reforms and Infantino's promises of
greater transparency are implemented throughout the organisation.
Sexwale, the South African politician and tycoon who was a candidate
for the FIFA presidency, said Samoura's appointment was important more
for her ability than for her being African.
"She's someone who has
worked in the system of the United Nations and understands what is
required in terms of an executive," Sexwale told AFP.
"The fact that she is a woman is not number one for me, number one, she must be a human who can be capable."