Zurich, Sep 18 : FIFA President Gianni Infantino has defended his meeting with Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber, who is the subject of criminal proceedings launched against the former in Switzerland in July. The case is about undocumented meetings between Lauber and Infantino in 2016 and 2017.
“In Switzerland, as you know, an investigation has been opened with regard of a few meetings between myself and the Swiss Attorney General, three or four years ago,” Infantino said at the annual FIFA Congress which was held virtually.
“Meetings include the Attorney General of Switzerland, meetings that were meant to define and make clear the new FIFA was miles, worlds away, from the old FIFA. Don’t forget FIFA became victim to corrupt officials, that is what courts say all over the world. FIFA is still suffering from that,” he said.
Infantino said that it was his “duty” to meet Lauber as he wanted to “liberate FIFA from those old, toxic values”.
“In 2015 FIFA was considered toxic and pronounced dead, an organisation that served itself from football rather than serving football,” he said. “It was my duty to meet with the Swiss Attorney General, I had to do my due diligence because I wanted to liberate FIFA from those old, toxic values.
“No organisation can be led into the future if you do not resolve the past. I thought I could do it, but it was not possible, you have to deal with your past. That is why two days ago I was meeting the US Attorney General to prove we don’t want to go back to our past, to prove FIFA has been reformed and to express our gratitude that at the time the DOJ saved FIFA from itself while others were standing there watching.
Infantino said that allegations against him are part of “conspiracy theries” made to damage FIFA.
“We will continue to fight against corruption in football and will cooperate with authorities all over the world that will help us save and reform football. Today I am more convinced that ever to fight for these values. Eventually those who have made up conspiracy theories to damage us will be victims to their own schemes, they will reveal themselves,” he said.
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