FIFA president Infantino cleared of wrongdoing in ethics probe

Fri Aug 5, 2016 7:34am EDT
 
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By Brian Homewood

ZURICH (Reuters) - FIFA President Gianni Infantino, elected in February to lead the global soccer body into calmer waters after a series of corruption scandals, was himself cleared of possible ethics violations on Friday.

FIFA's independent ethics committee said it had concluded a formal investigation into Infantino's conduct which focused on some of the flights he had taken during the opening months of his presidency and his failure to sign an employment contract.

"It was found that no violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics (FCE) had been committed by Mr Infantino," the ethics committee said in a statement.

It said investigations were carried out "diligently over several weeks" and included "a large number of interviews with witnesses and Mr Infantino himself."

Infantino, in a statement issued by FIFA, said he was "pleased" with the outcome.

German media have been reporting for several weeks that Infantino, whose predecessor Sepp Blatter has been banned for six years for ethics violations, was under investigation over flights he had taken on private jets.

FIFA has been in turmoil after a wave of indictments of football officials in the United States last year, including former members of its executive committee, on corruption-related charges.

The football body has also been forced to investigate controversies surrounding the awarding of its showpiece, the World Cup finals, especially the decision to grant the 2018 tournament to Russia and the 2022 finals to Qatar.   Continued...

 
FIFA's President Gianni Infantino looks on following his meeting with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, Nigeria, July 25, 2016. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde