MOSCOW/ZURICH: World federation FIFA has denied that its recently-replaced ethics chamber investigator had been investigating president Gianni Infantino writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
This followed reports in British and German media that Infantino and secretary-general Fatma Samoura had influenced the African election earlier this year which resulted in the ousting of long-serving CAF president Issa Hayatou.
Last month FIFA had said ‘there is no open investigation’ in response to an inquiry from a French news agency.
A spokesman has now reiterated that all files have been handed over by departing Cornel Borbely to his successor, former Colombian prosecutor Maria Claudia Rojas, “and that there are no open preliminary or investigation proceedings involving the FIFA president.”
Last year Infantino’s use of two flights on private jets and his expenses aroused apparent concerns which were rejected.
FIFA confirmed a swath of new judicial committee appointments at its congress in Bahrain in May at which Infantino hit out at the “fake news” and “FIFA bashing” surrounding the body.
Subsequently chief investigator Borbely and ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert issued harsh criticisms of the federation.
Rojas, former president of the Council of State in Colombia, was appointed new chair of the investigatory chamber of the ethics committee with Greece’s Vassilios Skouris, former and longest-serving president of the European Court of Justice, taking over as chairman of the adjudicatory chamber.
The clumsy manner of the replacement of Borbely and Eckert drew widespread criticism to which FIFA responded that change had been necessary to “better reflect the geographic and gender diversity that must be a part of an international organisation like FIFAF.”