January 12, (THEWILL) – FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, was questioned by Swiss prosecutors on Tuesday, in Zurich, over alleged secret meetings with the country’s former prosecution chief.
The investigation, which began in July 2020, is looking into charges of “incitement to abuse authority,” “violation of official secrecy,” and “obstructing criminal proceedings” against Infantino. The justices accuse him of three secret meetings in 2016 and 2017 with former Attorney General, Michael Lauber.
The 52-year-old football boss has insisted that his meetings with Lauber were merely routine. However, the investigation is looking into whether those meetings were used to influence Lauber’s investigation into corruption within FIFA.
Lauber eventually resigned while FIFA’s Internal Justice System cleared Infantino. This case is not the first time Infantino has been embroiled in controversy during his tenure as FIFA president. In 2019, he was cleared of any wrongdoing by FIFA’s Ethics Committee after allegations of financial misconduct.
Despite the ongoing investigation, Infantino will stand unopposed for a third term as FIFA President at the 73rd FIFA Congress in Kigali, Rwanda, on March 16. Infantino was elected in 2016, promising to “restore FIFA’s image” after the federation was plagued by scandal in the final years of Blatter’s time in charge. It is unclear how the investigation and potential charges will affect his ability to lead the organization.
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Jude Obafemi is a versatile senior Correspondent at THEWILL Newspapers, excelling in sourcing, researching, and delivering sports news stories for both print and digital publications.