Swiss police raid UEFA as Panama Papers scandal spreads

Wed Apr 6, 2016 3:18pm EDT
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By Brian Homewood and Ragnhildur Sigurdardottir

ZURICH/REYKJAVIK, (Reuters) - Swiss police raided the European soccer body UEFA on Wednesday to seize information about a contract disclosed in the Panama Papers that was signed by Gianni Infantino, now head of the global soccer body FIFA.

The impact of the leaked documents from a Panamanian law firm is snowballing, with Iceland facing a political crisis after its prime minister stepped aside on Tuesday following revelations about his wife's finances.

Recently elected Infantino joined a growing list of public figures and political leaders whose financial arrangements have come under scrutiny after the release of the 11.5 million documents, which have caused public outrage over how the rich and powerful can hide money to avoid taxes.

Infantino said he was "dismayed that his integrity was being doubted" by media reports which said the contract he signed several years ago as a UEFA official sold broadcast rights at a low price to a company which sold them on at a far higher price.

Reuters, which has not seen the documents, was unable to confirm this and UEFA denied that the rights were sold at below the market price.

"UEFA can confirm that today we received a visit from the office of the Swiss Federal Police acting under a warrant and requesting sight of the contracts between UEFA and Cross Trading/Teleamazonas," UEFA said in a statement.

Infantino said in a FIFA statement the contract had been "properly conducted" by UEFA.

British Prime Minister David Cameron also faced another day of questions about his finances, because his late father was among the tens of thousands of people named in the documents from law firm Mossack Fonseca, which has denied any wrongdoing.   Continued...

FIFA President Gianni Infantino gestures during a news conference at the South American Football Confderation (CONMEBOL) headquarters in Luque, Paraguay in this March 28, 2016 file picture. REUTERS/Jorge Adorno/Files