Crime & Justice

Fifa says Infantino has ‘nothing to hide’ in probe

Madrid Desk, Aug 3 (efe-epa).- The deputy secretary-general of Fifa Alasdair Bell on Monday described an investigation into the world football body’s president Gianni Infantino as “grotesque” and said his boss had “nothing to hide.”

On July 30 Swiss prosecutors said they would probe “indications of criminal conduct” in relation to three undocumented meetings between Infantino and Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber between 2015-16.

Prosecutor Stefan Keller wants to investigate possible “abuse of public office, breach of official secrecy, assisting offenders and incitement to break the law” at a time when Fifa was coming under scrutiny for a corruption scandal.

In an online press conference, Bell said the organization would be transparent to help “truth come to light” but railed against the investigation.

“There is no factual basis whatsoever for this criminal investigation. There is nothing serious to investigate,” he said.

Bell insisted Infantino’s meetings with the outgoing attorney general had been above board. Infantino has previously stated that he met with Lauber to help the investigation into Fifa.

Bell said: “There is no description of criminal conduct of any kind that has been communicated to Fifa. There is something a little grotesque and unfair in all this because we are 100 percent confident there will never be a criminal charge against the Fifa president.”

The deputy secretary general also took issue with the fact the complaints filed were anonymous.  At the time of the meetings, Lauber, who is due to step down as attorney general next month, was in charge of a large investigation into corruption in football, which involved Fifa.

The meetings between the pair broke on the site Football Leaks in 2017.

Prosecutor Keller has requested Lauber’s immunity be lifted in order to face the accusations.

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