The President of the International Federation of Football (FIFA), Gianni Infantino, will continue to hold his position despite the ongoing proceedings against him in Switzerland over informal meetings between the head of the Federation and the Attorney General of the Confederation Michael Lauber. This was reported by Associated Press on Sunday, August 2, citing the organization’s statement.
“The president of FIFA will continue to fully carry out his functions in FIFA and fulfill his duties, he will continue to cooperate with the authorities in Switzerland and in the world,” reads the statement.
The organization believes that “there was and there is absolutely no reason to initiate any investigation, as nothing criminal has happened and there is nothing that would suggest the existence of criminal violations.
Infantino’s meetings with Lauber “were not illegal,” FIFA insisted. They were never secret and were held “in public places, such as hotels and restaurants”. At the time, the Swiss prosecutor’s office was dealing with more than 20 criminal cases involving the federation in which she was the victim. The organization therefore believes that it is “logical” for Infantino and Luber to meet. The purpose of such meetings “has always been to offer the full support of FIFA in its investigations”.
According to the federation, Swiss special prosecutor Stefan Keller, who opened a criminal investigation against Infantino, “did not provide serious elements or a legitimate basis for opening any investigation. In addition, the organization categorically denies that the head of FIFA “may have attempted to have any undue influence on the Swiss Federal Prosecutor”.
The Swiss prosecutor’s office announced on July 30 that proceedings had begun against Infantino, as well as against Michael Lauber, who announced his resignation from the Swiss federal prosecutor’s office on July 24. Earlier, in 2017, the prosecutor’s office was interested in a number of high-ranking FIFA officials in the investigation of 25 cases of corruption. The list of those involved in the investigation included former FIFA President Joseph Blatter, former secretary general of the association Jerome Walke, and Franz Beckenbauer, head of the organizing committee for the 2006 World Cup in Germany. The current Federation President Gianni Infantino had nothing to do with him.