Thursday 8 December 2016

Police raid Uefa after Infantino dragged into furore

Ben Rumsby

Published 07/04/2016 | 02:30

Fifa president Gianni Infantino Photo: David Davies/PA Wire
Fifa president Gianni Infantino Photo: David Davies/PA Wire

Uefa was raided by Swiss police yesterday, hours after new Fifa president Gianni Infantino was dragged into the Panama Papers affair.

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Federal officers swooped unannounced on Uefa's Nyon headquarters and seized details of a contract signed off by its former general secretary with one of the men at the centre of world football's corruption scandal.

The raid, with which Uefa fully co-operated, was carried out after International Consortium of Investigative Journalists published the latest revelations from the Panama Papers leak.

They showed that Infantino co-signed contracts with a company owned by Hugo Jinkis, who was indicted in the United States in May as part of an alleged €120m fraud.

European football's governing body last year declared it had no dealings with those involved in the scandal to have engulfed Fifa, which also previously said the same about Infantino personally.

Embarrassment

Despite there being no evidence of any wrongdoing in the awarding of the contract signed by the Swiss, Fifa and Uefa's prior denials made Tuesday's revelation an embarrassment for both him and them.

The Panama Papers show that, a decade ago, when Infantino was director of legal services at Uefa, the organisation sold the rights for broadcasting its club competitions - including the Champions League - in South America to a company called Cross Trading.

Cross Trading, which immediately sold the rights on to broadcaster Teleamazonas for about three or four times the amount paid, is a subsidiary of a company called Full Play.

Full Play is owned by Jinkis who, along with his son Mariano, is under house arrest in Argentina.

Having checked through thousands of contracts, Uefa also confirmed that in addition to two it agreed with Cross Trading, it had also signed a European Championship hospitality sales agreement with Traffic Sports Europe, a Brazilian company named extensively in the US indictment.

The raid was carried out by the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland, which had already opened criminal proceedings against former Fifa president Sepp Blatter.

Irish Independent

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