November 23 – The 11-member Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) is backing FIFA President Gianni Infantino for re-election as his predecessor Sepp Blatter has called for an investigation into Infantino’s conduct.
With 10 weeks to go before the February 5 deadline for potential candidates to mount a challenge, no-one has yet thrown their hat into the ring to challenge Infantino at next June’s ballot in Paris. But FIFA’s smallest confederation has voted unanimously to support Infantino whatever happens.
Infantino is seeking his first full four-year term having been elected in February 2016 to complete the mandate of Blatter, who was banned by FIFA’s ethics committee.
There is still no love lost between the pair and Blatter has called for an probe into Infantino’s behaviour following meetings the latter had with Switzerland’s attorney general.
The Football Leaks whistleblowing website has alleged that Infantino offered favours to a senior Swiss prosecutor, Rinaldo Arnold, in a bid to build relationships with attorney general Michael Lauber, perhaps to obtain information about and influence Switzerland’s ongoing investigation into possible corruption within FIFA.
According to Football Leaks, the informal meetings occurred in the spring of 2016, a few months after Infantino took charge of FIFA
Speaking to reporters earlier this week, Lauber dismissed the accusations arguing that his meetings with Infantino were “normal and regular especially in complex cases”.
But Blatter told AFP: “The FIFA Ethics Committee must do something, an open investigation into Mr. Infantino. Where is the transparency preached by Mr Infantino during his election? He should report himself to the Ethics Committee to show that he is transparent. Infantino met Mr Lauber several times, whereas I have been questioned by him just once since a procedure against me was opened in September 2015.”
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