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FIFA and Infantino pledge to co-operate with Swiss prosecutors

Last updated 7 months ago | By Robin Toskin

FIFA President Gianni Infantino gestures during the 66th FIFA Congress in Mexico City, Mexico, May 13, 2016. [REUTERS/Henry Romero]

World football governing body, Fifa, has said it remains at the disposal of Swiss authorities and will “co-operate fully with this investigation” after the country’s Special Prosecutor opened criminal proceedings against its President, Gianni Infantino.

A Swiss Special Prosecutor, Stefan Keller, has been looking into complaints regarding secrete meetings between Infantino, Swiss attorney general Michael Lauber and the chief public prosecutor of the Upper Valais, Rinaldo Arnold.

All three deny wrong-doing.

On Thursday the office of the Special Prosecutor announced said “there are indications of criminal conduct.”

While the watchdog’s office applied to have the immunity of Lauber, Switzerland’s Attorney General of Switzerland lifted before it could begin proceedings against him, the prosecutor went ahead to open criminal investigations against Infantino.

Fifa President does not enjoy immunity under the Swiss law.

In a statement posted on its website, the football governing body said: “Fifa acknowledges the decision of the Swiss Special Federal Public Prosecutor in opening an investigation regarding the meetings involving the Fifa President Gianni Infantino and the Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber.”

“Fifa, including the Fifa President, remains at the disposal of the Swiss authorities and will, as we have always done, cooperate fully with this investigation.”

Fifa added: "People remember well where Fifa was as an institution back in 2015, and how substantial judicial intervention was actually required to help restore the credibility of the organisation.”

 "As President of Fifa, it has been my aim from day one, and it remains my aim, to assist the authorities with investigating past wrongdoings at Fifa. Fifa officials have met with prosecutors in other jurisdictions across the world for exactly these purposes. People have been convicted and sentenced, thanks to Fifa’s cooperation, and especially in the United States of America, where our cooperation has resulted in over 40 criminal convictions. Therefore, I remain fully supportive of the judicial process, and Fifa remains willing to fully cooperate with the Swiss authorities for these purposes."

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