A criminal case was launched against the FIFA president Gianni Infantino this Thursday by a special swiss prosecutor. This puts the football regulating body into a new scandal. Infantino was the person who brought some stability into the organization after its reputation was tarnished due to corruption cases on previous presidents. However, this case may have now put Infantino tenure as FIFA president under a threat.
The case is said to be connected to a meeting Infantino had with the Swiss attorney general Michael Lauber. The Swiss special prosecutor Stefan Keller who is barely a month into his job has collected enough evidence to go to court.
FIFA has released a statement saying it and Infantino will cooperate with Swiss authorities in the proceedings of the case. Infantino went on to add “To meet with the Attorney General of Switzerland is perfectly legitimate and it’s perfectly legal. It’s no violation of anything. On the contrary, it is also part of the fiduciary duties of the President of FIFA.”
Keller, a regional court judge was named to the post of special prosecutor on June 29. Keller has filled a case after he found that possible infractions included abuse of public office, breach of official secrecy, “assisting offenders” and “incitement to these acts,” the supervisory authority for the office of the attorney general said in its statement, adding that other criminal acts and proceedings could also be considered.
Attorney general Lauber offerd his resignation on friday. The resignation came only minutes before a federal court upheld allegations that he had lied about a meeting he had with Infantino during a sprawling investigation into football corruption.
The Fedral Courts Judgment comes in response to Lauber’s appeal against being disciplined in March for misconduct. The internal disciplinary case against Lauber focused on a meeting he had with Infantino in June 2017 at a hotel in Bern, at which the prosecutor took no notes.
Infantino became FIFA president due to investigations that erupted around the soccer body in November 2014. Sepp Blatter, who was the FIFA President at the time announced his plans resigned due to the arrest of multiple soccer officials. Blatter was later banned from the sport.
Michel Platini, the favorite to succeed Blatter and then serving as UEFA president then, was also suspended as a fallout from the investigation.
Gianni Infantino who was at that time serving as the general secretary of the UEFA administration became the FIFA president, beating Asian Football Confederation president Sheikh Salman.
Sheikh Salman is currently senior vice president of FIFA and is in line to replace Infantino if he suspended due to this criminal case against him.
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