FIFA president Gianni Infantino is suspected of getting intervened with Switzerland’s legal professional common to attempt to get an investigation dropped, a Swiss newspaper alleged on Monday. The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) launched an investigation in early 2016, shortly after Infantino was elected president of world soccer’s governing physique, about his awarding of a tv rights contract to an offshore firm in his earlier position as UEFA’s authorized affairs director.
According to the Tribune de Geneve newspaper, Infantino was “worried” about this investigation and wrote to his childhood pal, Rinaldo Arnold, who had turn into a senior prosecutor in Switzerland’s Haut-Valais area the place they grew up.
“I will try to explain to the OAG that it is in my interests that everything should be cleared up as soon as possible, that it be clearly stated that I have nothing to do with this matter,” he wrote in an electronic mail cited by the newspaper.
Arnold, who had helped to arrange a primary assembly between Infantino and Attorney General Michael Lauber, replied: “What is important is the meeting in two weeks’ time. If you like, I can come with you again.”
The assembly came about on April 22, 2016, the newspaper mentioned, including that what occurred throughout it stays “a mystery”, and the OAG “refuses to speak about it”.
The OAG declined to touch upon the Tribune de Geneve article when contacted by AFP.
FIFA was additionally contacted for remark however there was no instant response.
The Zurich-based federation has all the time indicated that the conferences between Infantino and the OAG had been supposed to point out that FIFA was “ready to engage with the Swiss justice system”.
In November 2017, “after a third informal meeting” between Infantino and Lauber, the OAG closed the investigation into the contract signed by Infantino at UEFA, European football’s governing body.
The Tribune de Geneve additionally indicated that between July and September 2016, there have been greater than 20 calls between Swiss prosecutors and FIFA attorneys.
“Prosecutors have apparently helped FIFA formulate its requests” as a plaintiff in order that they may very well be “accepted by the OAG” — an perspective which “seems incompatible with the OAG’s duty of impartiality”, the every day mentioned.