FIFA President Gianni Infantino is not free from legal battles yet despite the fact that FIFA ethics committee has cleared him of the criminal charges against him.
Earlier today, December 10, a Swiss special prosecutor, Stefan Keller, confirmed that the 50-year-old football administrator has been dragged before Swiss federal prosecutor’s office in order to be probed in relation to Infantino’s flight in a private jet from Suriname to Geneva in 2017.
The special prosecutor said his investigation has showed that the flight has a connection with a “criminally reprehensible behaviour” which is worth probing further in order to find out what that “criminally reprehensible behaviour” was.
Earlier, Swiss prosecutors had accused FIFA President Gianni Infantino of visiting the former Switzerland’s attorney general Michael Lauber for an illegal purpose. The president of the world football governing body insisted that his visit to the then attorney general has nothing to do with illegalities.
FIFA also issued a statement to defend its leader saying that there was no wrongdoing in Infantino’s visit to Michael Lauber. Also, Infantino claimed in a statement that his visit to the Switzerland’s former attorney general was one out of many other visits he made to other countries’ attorney generals where FIFA was answering a case of corruption.
After a series of back and forth on the matter, FIFA ethics committee agreed to wave off the case, saying that the evidence of the Swiss prosecutors lacked “a prima facie case regarding any alleged breach of the FIFA code of ethics”.
But Swiss special prosecutor, Stefan Keller, is insisting that FIFA President Gianni Infantino has a case to answer before the Swiss federal prosecutor’s office since FIFA ethics committee didn’t see anything incriminating in his visit to Michael Lauber nor in his flight in a private jet in 2017.
Since Gianni Infantino became the 9th president of FIFA on 26 February 2016, he has had a series of corruption related cases to answer. The first of such cases became public in July 2016 when he had to stand before FIFA Ethics Committee to clear his name when he was suspected to have broken the FIFA code of ethics.
Though the case didn’t last long before it was waved off, Infantino was made to explain why he made “several flights” immediately after he assumed office as FIFA president. He was also made to clarify the process he used in recruiting people into FIFA’s president office and why he failed to sign the contract specifying his employment relationship with FIFA.
FIFA ethics committee is being criticized for not investigating the alleged spending of the FIFA president on personal needs.
More so, after the FIFA World Cup in Russia in 2018, the FIFA president was accused of being given special treatment which he allegedly admitted to. But that didn’t attract the attention of the Ethics Committee.
Among all the allegations hanging on the neck of Gianni Infantino, the one which the Swiss special prosecutor, Stefan Keller, is very determined to seeing through is to find out what transpired in Infantino’s flight in a private jet from Suriname to Geneva in 2017.
As of the time of publishing this report, FIFA nor Infantino was yet to make an official reaction on the new development.