World association reacts
Gianni Infantino’s return flight from Suriname in a private jet and the reason for it make headlines. Now the World Football Association has responded.
- Fifa defends its president Gianni Infantino against allegations of false statements about a transcontinental flight with a private jet.
- Infantino’s return flight from Suriname complied with FIFA’s “rules and regulations”.
- The FIFA boss came under criticism earlier because of his flying habits.
The international football association Fifa has defended its president Gianni Infantino against the accusation of false statements about a transcontinental flight in a private jet. “The FIFA President visited Suriname in April 2017 as part of a trip to the CONCACAF region,” it said on request. The return flight complied with “FIFA’s rules and regulations”.
The Süddeutsche Zeitung had previously reported that Infantino had hired a private plane at short notice to travel back to Switzerland from South America. This caused costs in the six-figure range, as the newspaper writes. He justified the resulting higher costs to the compliance manager of the world association with urgent appointments on the following day. Among other things, he had agreed to meet with Uefa President Aleksander Ceferin. According to the “SZ” report, there was never this date.
Infantino had already been criticized for his flying habits at the beginning of his term in 2016. So he had made the trip to visit the Pope in a private plane and also used the plane of a Russian oligarch. There were no consequences for Infantino.
He had made his first flight as FIFA boss to a meeting of the International Football Association Board in Wales with a low-cost airline and thus fueled hopes for a change of heart in FIFA, which was then shaken by corruption scandals. “With the new Fifa tour, the total costs for such private flights fell considerably in 2016,” the international association said.