FIFA President Gianni Infantino has been cleared of wrongdoing by the Swiss public prosecutors.
The head of the world’s football governing body was accused of “incitement to abuse of authority, violation of official secrecy and obstruction of criminal action” in 2020.
This was after he was accused of holding alleged secret meetings in 2016 and 2017 with the former Swiss attorney general Michael Lauber- who headed the investigation until he was implicated and resigned in 2020- and chief public prosecutor of the Upper Valais, Rinaldo Arnold.
The case was dismissed on Thursday by Swiss Extraordinary Federal Prosecutors Hans Maurer and Ulrich Weder who took over the case in May 2021 after their predecessor, Prosecutor Stefan Keller was removed over a court ruling that his role could not “guarantee a fair process.”
In reaction to this, FIFA said the outcome of the investigations was “unsurprising”, however, delayed.
“The outcome of this investigation is obviously entirely unsurprising. The only surprising element is only the long time taken to reach such an obvious conclusion.”
The football body in a statement further expressed satisfaction with the ruling.
“FIFA takes note, with extreme satisfaction, of the decision of the two Extraordinary Federal Prosecutors, Hans Maurer and Ulrich Weder, to dismiss and definitively close the proceedings against Gianni Infantino in relation to the so-called ‘Lauber case’.”
The FIFA president in the press statement said justice had been served and demanded an apology from his detractors.
“It is now clear that the accusations against me were mere attempts by poor, envious and corrupt people to attack my reputation. If these people have some dignity left, they should at least have the decency and apologise for their actions and the damage caused.”
“Indeed and with no surprise, the investigation fully and clearly confirms that I have always acted in a lawful and correct way, always defending exclusively the interests of FIFA and football.”