It appears FIFA has been caught in yet another corruption scandal, this time with current president Gianni Infantino.
As part of a broader case involving the nation’s Attorney General, Michael Lauber, Swiss officials have opened criminal proceedings against both Infantino and Lauber for allegations of corruption during a 2017 secret meeting. According to Reuters, Swiss officials had appointed a special prosecutor to investigate allegations of criminal conduct from the Attorney General with FIFA and Infantino.
Last week, a Swiss court concluded that Lauber and Infantino had conducted a secret meeting in 2017. Lauber lied to his supervisors even as his office worked cases investigating corruption in FIFA. After these court findings, Lauber, who has held the office since 2012, offered his resignation. The meeting in question featured several other men from the Attorney General’s office who are also implicated in the investigation.
Infantino, who himself is Swiss-Italian, has been FIFa president since 2016, coming into the position after the previous elected president, Sepp Blatter, was forced out of the office. Blatter resigned due to the massive corruption case launched by the FBI against dozens of FIFA officials and connected businessmen. However, before he actually stepped down, Blatter was forced out of office and banned from FIFA due to Swiss investigations into bribery between Blatter himself and then UEFA president, Michel Platini. Prior to becoming FIFA president, Infantino had been a high ranking UEFA official going back to 2000.
Both Lauber and Infantino have previously insisted that they have not engaged in any wrong doing.
Infantino has previously been connected with corruption allegations. Following the Panama papers leak in 2016, it was discovered that Infantino had signed off on a 2006 agreement to sell the South American television rights for the Champions League tournament to a company that then resold the rights to the Ecuadorean broadcast for approximately 3 times the initial sale value. Following the leak, Infantino, UEFA, and FIFA all maintained that they had no part in any wrongdoing.