Infantino gets FIFA ethics body nod to stay in office

FIFA ethics body has cleared president Gianni Infantino to stay in the office during the course on the inquiry into the Swiss criminal case.

Infantino is facing a criminal investigation in Switzerland for his undisclosed meetings with Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber and taking a private flight from the Caribbean to Geneva for some FIFA business. The investigators have closed preliminary investigations, states a report by news agency Associated Press.

FIFA’s chief ethics investigator Maria Claudia Rojas has ruled out the possibility of Infantino’s provisional suspension from the president’s office. “The evident lack of a prima facie case regarding any alleged breach of the FIFA Code of Ethics,” she has said.

The decision was published just three weeks after a criminal proceeding was opened against Infantino by a Swiss special prosecutor. He assessed several complaints about the FIFA leader’s meetings in 2016 and 2017 with the attorney general, Michael Lauber, and possible abuse of public office.

Still, the ethics ruling was expected after FIFA defended its president in a robust and at times testy way in recent weeks.

Infantino was cleared in the internal investigation hours after FIFA published the agenda for its remote congress he will chair online from Zurich on September 18.

Fifa said documents shared by the Swiss courts were scrutinised.

“No aspect of the conduct analysed constitutes a violation,” it said.

“Some aspects do not even fall within the provisions of the Fifa code of ethics, or justify the adoption of any kind of measure, including that of a provisional suspension.”

Earlier in August, in a letter to member associations, Infantino said any meetings were “in no way secret and most certainly not illegal”.

Infantino has denied all wrongdoing and called the investigations “absurd.”

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