FIFA President Gianni Infantino Faces Criminal Proceedings In Switzerland

Another day, another FIFA president under fire.

Swiss special prosecutor Stefan Keller announced Thursday he has opened criminal proceedings against FIFA president Gianni Infantino and former Swiss attorney general Michael Lauber, according to The Independent’s Jack de Menezes. The proceedings relate to an undisclosed June 2017 meeting between Infantino and Lauber, who at the time was investigating allegations of corruption at FIFA. A Swiss court concluded last week Lauber covered up the meeting and lied to his supervisors about it, prompting him to offer his resignation. Keller’s office, which was appointed last week to investigate dealings between Infantino and Lauber, announced it has found indications of criminal conduct relating to the meeting.

“This concerns abuse of public office, breach of official secrecy, assisting offenders and incitement to these acts,” Keller’s office said in a statement.

Both Infantino and Lauber previously have denied wrongdoing.

The proceedings against Infantino raise the specter of another scandal hanging over FIFA. The original FIFA scandal, known in some circles as “FIFAgate,” broke in 2015 after the United States Justice Department indicted several world-soccer officials, leading to the downfall of former president Sepp Blatter, who had reigned over the sport’s governing body between 1998 and 2015.

Infantino won the FIFA election to replace Blatter in 2016.

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Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images

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