Football’s world governing body FIFA has stated that there was no ‘criminal wrongdoing’ from its President Gianni Infantino in relation to alleged secret meetings with Swiss Attorney General Micheal Lauber.
FIFA maintains that the meetings between Infantino and Lauber were ‘routine’ and ‘nothing remotely criminal happened’ while both men denied any wrongdoing.
“There was and is absolutely no reason to open any investigation, there is nothing at all to suggest any form of criminal wrongdoing,” FIFA said.
Last week, Swiss prosecutors launched legal proceedings against Infantino and Lauber who has since tendered in his resignation from office.
However, FIFA has confirmed that Infantino will continue in his role as president of football’s world governing body despite being subject of the criminal investigations.
The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) in Switzerland has appointed special prosecutor Stefan Keller to review criminal complaints against Infantino, Lauber and others.
Keller’s investigations have found indications of criminal conduct, abuse of public office, breach of official secrecy and assisting offenders related to the pair’s meetings.
However, FIFA said that at the time of the said meetings between FIFA president and the Swiss federal prosecutor, the OAG was conducting cases related to FIFA and it was entirely logical for Infantino to meet the Swiss federal prosecutor
“At the time of the meetings between the FIFA president and the Swiss federal prosecutor, the OAG was conducting investigations in over 20 cases in FIFA-related matters, and FIFA is a damaged party in those proceedings.”
“It was therefore entirely logical for the FIFA president to be meeting the Swiss federal prosecutor. The purpose was always to offer FIFA’s full support in the investigations.”
“The FIFA president and FIFA officials went to see the most senior law officer in the country to describe the changes that had been made at FIFA, and offered co-operation in prosecuting criminal wrongdoing.”
“The FIFA president went there in good faith and as a representative of FIFA,” FIFA said.
FIFA further added that Infantino was trying to restore trust in the institution while also offering FIFA’s full support in the investigations and therefore had represented FIFA in good faith.