No formal proceedings against FIFA chief Infantino says ethics committee
By Brian Homewood
ZURICH (Reuters) - FIFA's ethics committee has said there are no formal proceedings against Gianni Infantino, the recently-elected president of soccer's global body, after a German newspaper reported that he was facing a provisional ban for unethical conduct.
However, the committee would not confirm or deny whether preliminary investigations, which would precede a formal investigation, had taken place.
German newspaper Die Welt had said on Thursday that Infantino, elected in February to lead FIFA out of the worst graft crisis in his history, was facing investigation over possible ethics breaches.
"We are not in a position to indicate if we have or have not preliminary investigatory proceedings against an individual," said the ethics committee's investigatory chamber in a statement to Reuters. "We would however like to point out that there are no formal proceedings going on against Mr. Infantino."
Die Welt said it had seen emails suggesting that Infantino had ordered senior FIFA officials to delete recordings of a controversial meeting of the FIFA Council, formerly the executive committee, before last month's Mexico City Congress.
Meanwhile, the Swiss newspaper Tagesanzeiger published copies of emails it said were exchanged between FIFA officials and which it said confirmed they were obeying instructions to wipe out a recording.
FIFA said in an emailed statement on Thursday that one recording had been deleted because it was stored improperly, but the original audio file still existed and was properly archived.