Fifa, the world football association, is sticking to its president Gianni Infantino despite investigations by the Swiss public prosecutor. A FIFA spokesman confirmed this to SPIEGEL on request. The AP news agency had previously reported on this.
“The Fifa president is the subject of an investigation by the Swiss public prosecutor’s office, but he has not yet been charged or found guilty,” Fifa told SPIEGEL. “As I have said several times, Fifa and its President will continue to cooperate fully with the authorities. Until these investigations are completed, there is nothing to prevent the President from fulfilling his duties. He will continue to fully perform his duties within Fifa. “
Fifa was also convinced that at the end of the ongoing investigation it would be confirmed that Infantino had “done nothing wrong” when he had fulfilled his duties and met the head of the federal prosecutor’s office.
The Swiss public prosecutor’s office opened criminal proceedings against Infantino on Thursday. It’s about secret meetings between him and the head of the federal prosecutor’s office, Michael Lauber. The secret and undocumented meetings took place in 2016 and 2017, while the federal prosecutor’s office was investigating Fifa for corruption, including the awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and 2022 to Qatar. In the current criminal proceedings regarding the meetings, the FIFA boss is now accused of inciting abuse of office and breach of official secrecy.
According to its own rules, Fifa Infantino could have been blocked for up to 90 days. This was the case in 2015 for his predecessor Sepp Blatter, and also for the then head of the European football association Uefa, Michel Platini. Articles 83, 84 and 85 in FIFA’s ethics code provide for appropriate sanctions for violations and suspicions. Now FIFA has obviously decided differently.
Federal attorney Lauber has already resigned because of the allegations after the supervisory authority had already reprimanded him for the meetings and accused him of a violation of his official duties and untrue statements. He dismissed the allegations. However, criminal proceedings should also be opened against him as soon as his immunity is waived.