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Gianni Infantino has been cleared of wrongdoing following a FIFA investigation into his expenses, recruitment and alleged sacking of whistleblowers.

He took charge of soccer’s world governing body in February after the disgraced Sepp Blatter resigned.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

FIFA’s ethics committee found no “conflicts of interest” and no breaches of the organization’s ethics code.

“The benefits enjoyed by Mr. Infantino were not considered improper,” it said.

A leaked internal FIFA memo outlined a series of claims relating to 46-year-old Gianni Infantino. The claims were that he: left himself exposed to claims of a possible conflict of interest by using private jets laid on by a World Cup bidding country; filled senior posts without checking people’s eligibility for the role; billed FIFA for mattresses, flowers, a tuxedo, an exercise machine and personal laundry; demanded FIFA hire an external driver, who then billed the governing body for driving his family and advisors around while he was abroad.


Michel Platini has announced he will not stand in the FIFA presidential election in February.

The 60-year-old suspended UEFA president, along with FIFA president Sepp Blatter, has been banned from soccer-related activities for eight years by world football’s governing body.

Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter were found guilty of breaches surrounding a 2 million euro “disloyal payment” made to Platini in 2011.

The two men are appealing against their bans, but Michel Platini says the timing of the February 26 election means he cannot run.

“I’m withdrawing from the race for the FIFA presidency,” Michel Platini told the Associated Press.

“The timing is not good for me. I don’t have the means to fight on equal terms with the other candidates.

“I have not been given the chance to play the game. Bye bye FIFA, bye bye FIFA presidency.” Michel Platini FIFA election 2016

Michel Platini, president of European soccer’s governing body since 2007, had submitted his candidacy for the FIFA presidential election but could not stand while suspended.

He and Sepp Blatter, 79, plan to take their cases to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

“I’ve spent more time in hearing rooms than on football pitches speaking about 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 or football news,” added Michel Platini.

“I’m taking this philosophically. Let’s wait and see what happens. But injustice is revolting me and I’m trying to fight it.”

Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter claimed the payment was honoring an agreement made in 1998 for work carried out between 1998 and 2002, when Platini worked as a technical adviser for Blatter.

FIFA’s ethics committee said there was “not sufficient evidence” to establish the payment was a bribe, but both men demonstrated an “abusive execution” of their positions.

“I can’t have any regret in that story because things fell upon my head while I haven’t done anything wrong,” added Michel Platini.

“I’m struggling to understand what happened, unless there was a will somewhere to prevent me from bidding.”

There are five candidates to succeed Sepp Blatter, who has been FIFA president since 1998:

  • Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa – 50, Bahrain, president of Asian Football Confederation;
  • Tokyo Sexwale – 62, South Africa, politician, businessman and former political prisoner;
  • Prince Ali bin al-Hussein – 40, Jordan, a former FIFA vice-president and 2015 FIFA presidential candidate;
  • Gianni Infantino – 45, Switzerland, UEFA general secretary and a member of FIFA’s reform committee;
  • Jerome Champagne – 57, France, a former FIFA assistant general secretary and former French diplomat.

Voting will take place by secret ballot, with all FIFA’s 209 member states having a vote each.


FIFA’s suspended president Sepp Blatter is appealing against his 90-day ban from soccer’s world governing body.

Sepp Blatter, 79, has been suspended from all duties while FIFA’s ethics committee investigates corruption claims against its leader.

The Swiss was suspended on October 8 along with secretary general Jerome Valcke and Vice-president Michel Platini.

Michel Platini will contest the ban “in the appropriate manner at the appropriate time”. All three deny any wrongdoing.

David Gill, a FIFA vice-president and the vice-chairman of the FA, has written to Markus Kattner, FIFA’s acting secretary general, to request an emergency meeting of the governing body’s executive committee.

FIFA’s ethics committee began its investigation into Sepp Blatter after the Swiss attorney general opened criminal proceedings against him in September.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

Sepp Blatter is accused of signing a contract “unfavorable” to FIFA and making a “disloyal payment” to Michel Platini.

The ethics committee also opened an inquiry into Michel Platini over the 2 million euros payment, which was made nine years after the 60-year-old Frenchman carried out consultation work for Sepp Blatter.

Jerome Valcke was already on gardening leave from his FIFA position following newspaper allegations last month which implicated the 55-year-old in a scheme to profit from the sale of World Cup tickets.

His lawyer said that his client was “confident” he will be fully cleared of the “false allegations” when “all the facts come out”.

Sepp Blatter won a fifth consecutive presidential election in May, but he announced he would be stepping down just days later following the launch of two investigations into FIFA by US and Swiss authorities.

He is due to finish his term on February 26, when a new president will be elected.

Michel Platini, who also heads European soccer body UEFA, is one of the favorites to replace Sepp Blatter and still plans to stand.

Soccer’s world governing body FIFA has decided to suspend its president Sepp Blatter, secretary general Jerome Valcke and vice-president Michel Platini for 90 days.

The sanctions were handed out by the FIFA’s ethics committee, which is investigating the three over corruption allegations.

It also banned ex-FIFA vice-president Chung Mong-joon for six years.

Issa Hayatou, who heads Africa’s soccer confederation (CAF), will act as FIFA president during Sepp Blatter’s ban.

Spain’s Angel Maria Villar is expected to perform the same role at UEFA – European soccer’s governing body – while Michel Platini is suspended.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

Both Chung Mong-joon and Michel Platini are hoping to replace Sepp Blatter when he steps down as president in February 2016.

“The grounds for these decisions are the investigations that are being carried out by the investigatory chamber of the ethics committee,” the FIFA said in a statement.

Sepp Blatter, Jerome Valcke and Michel Platini are banned from any soccer activity in the interim. They deny any wrongdoing.

Earlier this year, US authorities indicted 14 FIFA officials and associates on bribery and racketeering charges. A simultaneous Swiss investigation was started into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Michel Platini and South Korean billionaire Chung Mong-joon – who was also fined 100,000 Swiss Francs by the ethics committee – are two of the leading candidates to replace Sepp Blatter in February.

Soccer’s governing body FIFA has decided to provisionally suspend its president, Sepp Blatter, for ninety days.

Members of FIFA’s ethics committee met this week after the Swiss attorney general opened criminal proceedings against Sepp Blatter, 79, in September. They have recommended a 90-day provisional suspension.

Swiss Sepp Blatter is accused of signing a contract “unfavorable” to soccer’s governing body and making a “disloyal payment” to UEFA president Michel Platini, 60.

Sepp Blatter, who has run FIFA since 1998, and Michel Platini, who wants to succeed him, deny any wrongdoing.

A final decision will be made on October 9 by Hans Joachim Eckhert, the head of FIFA’s ethics adjudicatory chamber, according to a close friend of Sepp Blatter.

No decision has been made on whether to suspend Michel Platini.Sepp Blatter suspended by FIFA

On October 7, Sepp Blatter told a German magazine that he was being “condemned without there being any evidence for wrongdoing”.

The ethics committee’s adjudicatory chamber had been meeting in Zurich since October 5.

The investigation is centered on allegations believed to be around a 2005 TV rights deal between FIFA and Jack Warner, the former president of CONCACAF, the governing body of football in North and Central America and the Caribbean.

It is also examining a payment of 2 million Swiss francs that Michel Platini received in 2011 for working for Sepp Blatter. He claims it was “valid compensation” for work carried out more than nine years previously.

Michel Platini has provided information to the criminal investigation but said he has done so as a witness.

Swiss prosecutors said Michel Platini is being treated as “in between a witness and an accused person” as they investigate corruption at FIFA.


Switzerland has opened a criminal proceedings against FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

The Swiss attorney general’s office said Sepp Blatter was suspected of criminal mismanagement or misappropriation over a TV rights deal and of a “disloyal payment” to European soccer chief Michel Platini.

Sepp Blatter, 79, was being questioned, and his office was searched, it added.

The world’s governing body said it was co-operating with the investigation.

Sepp Blatter has run FIFA since 1998 and has always denied any wrongdoing.

The attorney general’s office said the investigation surrounds a TV rights deal Sepp Blatter signed with former Caribbean soccer chief Jack Warner in 2005.FIFA President Sepp Blatter under investigation in Switzerland

“Swiss criminal proceedings against the president of FIFA, Mr. Joseph Blatter, have been opened… on suspicion of criminal mismanagement… and – alternatively – misappropriation,” it said.

Sepp Blatter is also suspected of making a “disloyal payment” of two million Swiss francs ($2 million) in 2011 to Michel Platini, the head of the European soccer body UEFA, the statement said.

It said the payment was “at the expense of FIFA, which was allegedly made for work performed between January 1999 and June 2002”.

Sepp Blatter is due to step down in February and Michel Platini is widely expected to replace him.

In May, Swiss authorities arrested seven FIFA officials in Zurich at the request of the US. They face extradition.

The US then unveiled indictments against seven other people in their corruption case, nine of whom are high-ranking officials.

Among them was Jack Warner, president of the Caribbean football association CONCACAF and one of the most powerful men in world football. He is currently in Trinidad awaiting extradition to the US on charges of corruption.

The Swiss opened their own investigation into FIFA hours after the initial arrests.

FIFA owns the TV rights to the World Cup and sells them to regional federations which then sell them on to broadcasters.

Sepp Blatter’s lawyer, Richard Cullen, said he was confident the inquiry would clear Blatter of any wrongdoing regarding the contract with Jack Warner.

“We are confident that when the Swiss authorities have a chance to review the documents and the evidence, they will see that the contract was properly prepared and negotiated by the appropriate staff members of FIFA who were routinely responsible for such contracts, and certainly no mismanagement occurred,” he said.

Sepp Blatter won a fifth consecutive FIFA presidential election on May 29 but, following claims of corruption, announced his decision to step down on June 2. He is due to finish his term at a FIFA extraordinary congress on February 26.

FIFA canceled its news conference on September 25 only minutes before it was due to start.

Sepp Blatter would have been speaking in public for the first time since general secretary Jerome Valcke was suspended last week amid allegations regarding ticket sales at the 2014 World Cup.

Newspaper reports implicated Jerome Valcke, 54, in a scheme to sell tickets for above face value.

Jerome Valcke, who describes the allegations as “fabricated”, has been released from his duties pending an investigation.

FIFA also announced earlier that it had moved its next executive committee meeting from Tokyo to Zurich.

Correspondents say that, although Sepp Blatter has not been indicted, he might be more vulnerable to an extradition request outside of Switzerland.


FIFA President Sepp Blatter’s 17-year reign at the soccer’s governing body could come to an end on December 16, 2015.

Representatives from all 209 member associations will be invited to Zurich to vote in a new presidential election.

Sepp Blatter, 79, resigned as FIFA’s president just four days after being re-elected last month.FIFA President Sepp Blatter 2015

The Swiss tended his resignation amid two corruption probes of his organization.

Seven FIFA officials were arrested on May 27 following a dawn raid on a luxury hotel in Zurich.

They were among 14 officials and associates indicted by US authorities on racketeering and bribery charges.

Swiss prosecutors have also begun a criminal investigation into how the rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were awarded.

There is a long list of potential successors for Sepp Blatter.

Among the possible candidates is Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, who lost out to Sepp Blatter in last month’s election.


Joao Havelange, former FIFA president, was paid huge sums in bribes by collapsed marketing company ISL, court documents have revealed.

Joao Havelange received at least 1.5 million Swiss francs and executive committee member Ricardo Teixeira at least 12.74 million SFr.

The Swiss prosecutor’s report, published by FIFA, reveals the pair may have received up to 21.9 million SFr.

They are the only two FIFA officials named in the report.

Switzerland’s supreme court ordered the release of the documents identifying which senior officials took millions of dollars in payments from ISL, FIFA’s marketing partner until it collapsed into bankruptcy in 2001.

Joao Havelange, former FIFA president, was paid huge sums in bribes by collapsed marketing company ISL

Joao Havelange, former FIFA president, was paid huge sums in bribes by collapsed marketing company ISL

The papers were released to five media organisations and detail the court settlement which closed a criminal probe of the ISL case in May 2010.

In November 2010, it was alleged that three senior FIFA officials, including Ricardo Teixeira, took bribes from Swiss-based ISL in the 1990s, though commercial bribery was not a crime in Switzerland at the time.

The documents concerning Joao Havelange also revealed that officials repaid 5.5 million Swiss francs to end the prosecution office’s investigation on condition their identities remain secret.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said in October 2011 that he wanted to release the ISL dossier, despite his organisation seeking to deny access to its contents at the same time.

“FIFA is pleased that the ISL non-prosecution order can now be made public,” FIFA said in a statement.

Joao Havelange, now 96, was FIFA president for 24 years before being succeeded by Sepp Blatter in 1998. The Brazilian, who remains FIFA’s honorary president, has been treated extensively in a Rio de Janeiro hospital this year for septic arthritis.

Joao Havelange resigned his 48-year International Olympic Committee membership, citing health reasons, in December, days before the Olympic body was due to sanction him following its own investigation into wrongdoing connected to ISL.

Ricardo Teixeira, Joao Havelange’s former son-in-law, this year resigned as head of Brazil’s football federation and the 2014 World Cup organising committee, and gave up his FIFA executive committee seat, citing unspecified health and personal reasons.