Panama Papers Vs Infantino: Swiss Police Raid UEFA HQ


As part of the ongoing criminal proceedings on the Panama Papers report, Swiss police on Wednesday raided the headquarters of the European soccer body, UEFA  to gather information about a TV rights contract signed by FIFA president, Gianni Infantino.

The files show that Infantino, a former director of legal services at UEFA, co-signed a TV contract in 2006 with two businessmen who have since been caught up in football’s global corruption scandal. UEFA, which has denied any wrongdoing, said it is cooperating fully with the Swiss police.

The office of the attorney general of Switzerland (OAG) said the search in Nyon, Switzerland, was “motivated by the suspicion of criminal mismanagement” relating to the sale of TV rights but that no specific individual is being targeted by these proceedings.

The OAG also revealed a separate location was searched and that authorities had already been investigating the rights acquisition before further details from the Panama Papers were published.

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Reports on Tuesday cite a leaked document from a Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca, also known as the Panama Papers saying UEFA sold broadcast rights for 2006-09 Champions League matches to Argentine businessmen Hugo and Mariano Jinkis, owners of Cross Trading.

These reports said the pair resold the rights to Ecuadorean broadcaster, Teleamazonas for three times as much, though UEFA said it had no knowledge of such a deal.

UEFA has confirmed that Infantino, who was working for UEFA at the time, was one of two of its officials who signed the contract. UEFA has denied any wrongdoing by itself or Infantino.

FIFA President Infantino, has said in a statement issued by the soccer body that he welcomed any investigation into the matter, and expressed dismay that his integrity was being doubted.

Hugo and Mariano Jinkis bought TV rights for the Champions League in 2006 as owners of Cross Trading before immediately selling them on for almost three times the price. UEFA initially denied doing business with any of the 14 individuals indicted by the FBI, but has since changed its stance.

Infantino was voted as FIFA president on February 26 and agreed to a reform package to address a variety of issues following the controversy surrounding Sepp Blatter’s reign.

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