FIFA President Infantino Faces Criminal Prosecution In Switzerland

FIFA president Gianni Infantino is the subject of criminal proceedings in Switzerland after prosecutors obtained permission to investigate his dealings with Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber and the Chief Public Prosecutor of Upper Valais Rinaldo Arnold.

A court found that Lauber covered up a meeting with Infantino and Arnold lied to supervisors while his office investigated corruption surrounding Football’s governing body.

Lauber offered his resignation last week after the court ruling.

The authority overseeing Switzerland’s federal prosecutors on Thursday said that special prosecutor Stefan Keller, appointed earlier this month to review criminal complaints against the three men and others involved, had found indications of criminal conduct related to the meetings.

Lauber had overseen a corruption probe in FIFA since the organisation was raided in 2015.

He is alleged to have held three meetings with Infantino about the status of the inquiry.

In March Lauber was sanctioned for disloyalty, lying and breaching his office’s code of conduct. He also had his salary cut for a year after he ‘contravened several duties of function’.

The Confederation Public Prosecutor’s Office (AS-MPC) said he ‘repeatedly did not tell the truth, acted unfairly, violated the Code of Conduct of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, and obstructed the AS-MPC investigation’.

Michael Lauber

Lauber and Infantino both previously denied any wrongdoing.

Infantino started at UEFA in 2000 and rose to the position of General Secretary in 2009. He emerged as one of the front runners to become FIFA President after Sepp Blatter and UEFA boss Michel Platini were swept away by the corruption allegations that swirled around the global football body.

He defeated candidate Sheikh Salman in elections and took over FIFA in 2016 promising change and to restore the battered image of FIFA.